The final international games before the start of the massive tournament, the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL 2023), are less than three weeks away. Players and teams in the IPL have been affected by recent international matches, with player injuries being one unfortunate consequence.
Shreyas Iyer, captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), suffered a recurrence of a back injury during the fourth India-Australia Test in Ahmedabad and did not bat. He has since been disqualified from the ODI series and may miss some of the IPL 2023, which is a significant setback for KKR.
Shreyas Iyer, who anchored the team’s batting order at No. 3, was the team’s leading run scorer last season. If he does not start the tournament, it will be interesting to see who bats in that position.
If Shreyas Iyer is injured during the IPL 2023, here are three players who could bat at No. 3 for KKR.
KKR has been investing in Rinku Singh’s potential for a long time, and the UP student appears to be paying off. Rinku Singh excelled as a finisher in his most successful IPL season, scoring 174 runs in seven games, averaging 34.80 runs per game, and scoring close to 150 runs per game.
Although he lacks the stability or control of Shreyas Iyer, Rinku provides opposition bowlers with a counterattacking option at No. 3, much like Moeen Ali does for CSK. An aggressive and fearless stroke maker, Rinku would be a problem once he gets going.
Shakib Al Hasan, one of the most successful T20 all-rounders, is an excellent signing for any team. He has taken the second most wickets in T20I history and is an effective batter, particularly higher up the order. Due to their overseas combination, it is currently unclear whether Shakib will be included in the KKR playing XI.
It’s a toss-up between Shakib and Rahmanullah Gurbaz with Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, and Lockie Ferguson locked in. Given Shakib’s experience and adaptability for the team, they should choose him. He consistently bats at No.3 or No.4 for the Bangladesh public side and this job ought not be new for him.
Shakib resembles Shreya Iyer in that he is not an explosive batter but is capable of controlling the innings. He is capable of shifting gears at will and is an excellent spin player.
Nitish Rana, who has batted in that position numerous times previously, is probably the most obvious and easiest candidate for KKR. In IPL 2022, the southpaw batted primarily at No. 4, moving down the order. Shreyas and he formed important partnerships for the team.
Rana was one of KKR’s best players last season as an attacking batter and excellent spinner. He scored 361 runs with a stellar strike rate of 143.52 and an average of 27.77. He has batted in the No.3 position before and has been genuinely fruitful for KKR.
Nitish Rana could start at No. 3 if the management of the team doesn’t want to try anything new or different.
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