In a massive blow for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), their skipper Shreyas Iyer will miss the upcoming edition of the cash-rich league due to a recurring back injury.
The premier batter of the KKR franchise recently made his return to the Indian Test side after missing the series opener of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia.
However, Iyer dealt a fresh setback as the star batter didn’t come out to bat for the 4th test due to lower back pain.
Later, Iyer was ruled out of the three-match One Day International (ODI) series between Rohit Sharma’s Team India and Australia with a back injury.
According to multiple reports, Iyer is expected to remain out of action for the next 4-5 months.
Hence, he will also miss the final of the Test Championship against Australia at the Oval in June.
In all likelihood, Iyer will go under the knife and might get operated on by a London-based specialist although his surgery can also be conducted in India.
One of the finest batters in world cricket, Iyer was roped in by KKR for IPL 2022 at the mega auction.
The former Delhi Capitals (DC) skipper joined KKR for a staggering sum of INR 12.25 crore.
The 28-year-old has played 101 matches in the IPL with a tally of 2776 runs.
He made his IPL debut against MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at MA Chidambaram Stadium back in 2015.
Iyer also guided DC to their maiden IPL final in 2020.
His injury has left many cricketer shocked.
Former India all-rounder Ajay Jadeja said, “For three months? This is also something new I am hearing. Injuries happen all the time but back surgery for a batter?”
“This is something I have never heard before. Even batsmen are having back surgeries? Yeh toh khel se ird gird ko cheezein judi huyi hai uspe thoda dhyaan dena padega. Yeh jo loha utha raha hai, faeda toh ho raha hai uska”
(This is all because of the things happening in and around the game. Weightlifting has its advantages), but we get to see the other side as well. Hope he gets well,” he said.
The biggest question now is who will be leading the two-time champions KKR.
It looks like the franchise are looking at two bowling all-rounders for the captaincy – Sunil Narine and Shardul Thakur.
Sunil Narine is an obvious choice, given the wealth of experience he has for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
He is their leading wicket-taker in history, with 122 scalps, and has been an integral part in their two IPL triumphs in 2012 and 2014.
He was also the skipper for the Abu Dhabi Knight Riders in the IL20.
Thakur, who part of Delhi Capitals for IPL 2023 was bought for Rs 10.75 crore for IPL 2022, by the Knight Riders.
As per reports, he has an edge over Narine as the Mumbaikar is expected to communicate better with the Indian players.