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IPL 2023 Injuries list grows after Shreyas Iyer also sidelined, Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana skipper contenders for KKR

Shreyas Iyer | Photo Courtesy: BCCI

Indian key batsman Shreyas Iyer, sidelined with a back injury since the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, is reportedly set to undergo surgery. This development will keep him out of action for at least five months, ruling him out of both the ICC World Test Championship Final and the Indian Premier League (IPL).

According to India Today sources, the 28-year-old consulted a Mumbai-based doctor for the third time and was advised to undergo surgery. The procedure will likely take place in India or London, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) closely monitoring the situation.

While Iyer may be in contention for a spot in India’s ICC World Cup squad, scheduled for October-November, it remains uncertain if he will be rushed back into action immediately following his recovery.

India is set to face Australia in the World Test Championship Final from June 7-11 at the Oval in London. With the IPL commencing on March 31, Iyer’s absence leaves the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) searching for a new captain. Cricbuzz had previously reported that Iyer consulted spine specialist Dr. Abhay Nene, whose tests revealed discouraging results, but Iyer was not officially ruled out of the IPL at that time.

Iyer has been a vital part of India’s ODI lineup recently, scoring 1,631 runs in 42 matches with an average of about 47 and a strike rate of nearly 97. In his 10 Test appearances, he has scored 666 runs, including a debut century against New Zealand in Kanpur. In the IPL, Iyer has accumulated 2,776 runs with a strike rate of 125.38.

Stand-in India skipper Hardik Pandya acknowledged the impact of Iyer’s absence at a press conference, stating that while the team will miss him, they must start seeking solutions.

The KKR are already exploring options for a new captain in the upcoming IPL season. KKR coach Chandrakant Pandit told The Calcutta Telegraph that other players on the team could assume the captaincy role with the right skills and experience.

Iyer’s injury makes him the second significant Indian team member to miss marquee events, with ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah also sidelined since late last year due to back issues.

Update: Shreyas Iyer likely to miss first half of IPL 2023; Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana likely contenders for replacement as skipper

Indian middle-order batter and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain, Shreyas Iyer, is expected to be absent for the first half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. During his absence, Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana have emerged as the leading candidates to assume the role of the franchise’s skipper.

According to ESPNCricinfo, Iyer has decided against undergoing surgery for his persistent lower-back injury. Instead, he has been advised to rest and continue his rehabilitation process. This injury initially forced him to miss the final Test against Australia in the recently concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy, as well as the subsequent ODI series against the same opponents.

At present, there is no fixed return date for Iyer. He will remain under the watchful eye of the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) medical staff at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Despite this uncertainty, KKR anticipates that their captain will rejoin the team for the second half of the high-profile league.

While both Narine and Rana are strong contenders for the KKR captaincy during Iyer’s absence, the franchise is carefully considering which player would be the better overall choice. Factors under consideration include man-management skills, communication abilities, leading teammates effectively, and eliciting the best performance from players under pressure during match situations.

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