Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) were gearing up hard for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when the news broke that their skipper Shreyas Iyer had been ruled out of the season. It was a massive blow for KKR fans and the team management, which had shelled out ₹12.25 crore on the 28-year-old cricketer in IPL 2022 mega auction.
With no big Indian name in the squad, the management closed in on one player: 29-year-old Nitish Rana, who had ‘sufficient’ experience and hence was a perfect choice. However, it must be mentioned that for Rana, who made his IPL debut in 2016, captaincy remained an unexplored territory.
Even in the domestic scene, his poor strategies cost him the Delhi captaincy, where he led the team on 23 occasions in first-class cricket and only 12 times in the shortest format. Here, it must be mentioned that KKR are not one of the most picked sides in IPL Satta Matka.
Great start to IPL 2023
Under Rana’s captaincy, KKR started with a bang. They lost their opening match against the Punjab Kings, but consecutive wins over Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Titans proved his detractors wrong.
But as it turned out, the wins were nothing short of flukes. Moreover, even in those matches, Rana was criticised for his tactics. One instance could be persisting with opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who had underperformed. Furthermore, Mandeep Singh kept getting opportunities but never made the most of them. His scores in the first two matches were 0 and 2. Clearly, he is not the top batsman in the ipl in the side.
Three Factors Where Rana Got It All Wrong
We look at how the Delhite has got it all wrong:
No Jason Roy:
KKR had trouble right from the start. After Iyer, they had to grapple with many injuries. Shakib Al Hasan was ruled out completely, and here stepped in Jason Roy. However, despite being completely aware of his strengths, Rana chose not to play the opener against the Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium.
On the same wicket, Venkatesh Iyer scored a century but couldn’t help KKR to a win. They could have gained with someone like Roy doing the hitting at the top on what was a flat track. KKR managed to post a 180-plus score only to lose the match. A fifty from Roy could have been the difference between the two sides.
Shardul Thakur Benched:
Shardul Thakur was the most effective player for them when KKR took on RCB at Eden Gardens. In a match where KKR had lost half their side at a score of 89, Thakur’s splendid knock of 68 runs off 29 balls turned the match on its head as KKR scored a mammoth total of 204/7. Thakur is one of the top picks in Satta Casino
The medium-pacer also picked up a wicket. Nevertheless, after one bad game against the Gujarat Titans, Rana benched him. Former cricketers like Harbhajan Singh had criticised Rana for dropping the Mumbai all-rounder, which could be detrimental to his confidence.
Too Much Chop & Change at the Top:
As explained above, Rana started with Gurbaz and Mandeep, which was a disaster. They then tried Litton Das, only to replace him with someone like Narayan Jagdeesan. No surprises; they had some horrendous starts in the tournament.
KKR’s highest partnership this season was worth 26 runs. Meanwhile, an international opener like Jason Roy warmed the bench. The Englishman’s only fifty came against CSK, where he batted in the middle order. Roy could have caused maximum damage at the top of the order.
Final Thoughts on Three Reasons Why Nitish Rana is an Average IPL Captain
Donning the role of a stand-in captain hasn’t been easy for Rana. However, KKR fans will be hoping that Delhite can inspire the team and turn around the franchise’s season.