"He showed the qualities which make him worthy of India captaincy" - KKR coach backs Shreyas Iyer to lead the Men in Blue in future

Shreyas Iyer
Chandrakant Pandit hugs Shreyas Iyer after KKR win IPL 2024. (Image Credit: iplt20.com)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Chandrakant Pandit has backed skipper Shreyas Iyer to lead India in the future. This comes after Shreyas guided the Knight Riders to their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title, beating the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) by eight wickets at Chepauk on Sunday, May 25.

Notably, Iyer had a difficult time before joining the KKR side at Eden Gardens ahead of the 2024 edition. He was struggling with injuries and was left out of BCCI's central contract list. However, he thrived under pressure by leading Kolkata exceptionally well throughout the season.

The 29-year-old had a calm demeanor and was excellent with his field placements and bowling changes. He guided the Knight Riders to nine victories out of 14 league games, while two matches were abandoned due to inclement weather. Iyer was ruthless during the playoffs as they won convincingly in Qualifier 1 and the final to lift the trophy.

Chandrakant Pandit praised Shreyas Iyer's leadership skills, saying that he is the right candidate to lead India in the future. In an interview with the Times of India, Pandit said:

“I would give a lot of credit to Shreyas. He’s been a fantastic captain, very calm and cool. He was receptive to our suggestions and handled the team well on and off the field. With KKR, he showed the qualities which make him worthy of India captaincy in the future."

Apart from Pandit, several other former cricketers have also backed Iyer to lead the Men in Blue in the future.

"He now seems to be a more matured, sensible batsman" - Chandrakant Pandit on Shreyas Iyer

The KKR head coach, who has seen Shreyas Iyer from close quarters, believes the setback has developed the cricketer into a more 'mature' and 'sensible' batter.

“Any player would be disappointed with that (Iyer’s BCCI contract snub). However, that should not affect his performance. Whenever we would discuss anything, we would never touch upon that point. We were clear that the task at hand was more important," Pandit said.
“I remember that he told me: ‘ Sir, I’ll prove it.’ The way he has batted in this IPL, he now seems to be a more matured, sensible batsman," he added.

Iyer didn't have a great season with the bat in IPL 2024 but chipped in with contributions whenever his team needed it. The right-hander aggregated 351 runs in 14 matches at an average of 39 and a strike rate of over 145. He played a match-winning half-century in Qualifier 1 against the SunRisers Hyderabad.

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