Is Shreyas Iyer’s match eligible for KKR’s first match of IPL 2024? The man who replaced him as KKR captain responds

Nitish Rana gives major update on Shreyas Iyer's fitness ahead of KKR's IPL 2024 season opener against SRH

Shreyas Iyer is all set to lead Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2024, taking over the captaincy from Niths Rana. Rana led the Knight Riders last season in the IPL as the franchise finished seventh in Iyer’s absence.

The right-hander has now returned fit from his lower back injury and is considered fit to play in the first game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Iyer consulted a spine specialist in Mumbai, who asked him not to overextend his front foot to defend the ball.

Iyer’s return bolstered KKR’s middle-order with their Indian core at three, Nitish Rana at four, Rinku Singh at five and Andre Russell at six. All the players ensure that KKR has a strong middle order followed by their openers. Phil Salt and Venkatesh Iyer are likely to open the batting. The English wicketkeeper-batsman has been hitting the ball sweetly in the practice sessions.

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Hope Shreyas Iyer leads all matches or KKR: Nitish Rana

Meanwhile. Nitish Rana spoke to Times Of India in a recent interview where he gave an important update on Shreyas Iyer’s fitness a day before KKR’s opening match in Kolkata.

“Shreyas is back in the team and is quite fit. Of course, he has had health problems in the past and we can’t take anything for granted. I hope I don’t have to take on this responsibility again as we expect Shreyas to lead every match. That said, if a situation arises where I have to wear the captain’s band again, I’m prepared for it. I was named captain last year and that was the most important thing for me. Even though we didn’t achieve everything we wanted, it was the best experience for me,” Rana said.

KKR made the playoffs in 2018 and played the final in 2021. They finished in the bottom half of the table in 2022 and 2023, seventh each time to be exact.

The franchise bagged 10 players in the auction securing the services of Mitchell Starc for Rs 24.75 crore. KS Bharat (Rs. 50 lakhs), Chetan Sakariya (Rs. 50 lakhs), Angkrish Raghuvanshi (Rs. 20 lakhs), Ramandeep Singh (Rs. 20 lakhs), Sherfane Rutherford (Rs. 1.5 crores), Manish Pandey (Rs. 50 lakhs), Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Rs. 2 crores), Gus Atkinson (Rs. 1 crore), Sakib Hussain (Rs. 20 lakhs) are the other players who bagged it.

KKR made me a successful leader: Gautam Gambhir

They have their core well preserved and their first XI looks good ahead of the season opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday. Gautam Gambhir’s return to KKR as a team mentor was the biggest news about the franchise ahead of IPL 2024.

He recently spoke about the impact KKR has had on his IPL and professional career as he hopes to end KKR’s title drought over the past 10 years.

“I didn’t make Kolkata Knight Riders successful, it was KKR who made me a successful leader,” Gambhir said.

KKR plays three matches in the first phase, starting against SRH at home. They will face RCB on March 29 and Delhi Capitals on April 3. They will only play one home game in the first phase.

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