KKR coach Chandrakant Pandit hopes Shreyas Iyer can play some part in 2023 IPL

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Iyer has been sidelined by a back injury - and ruled out of this year's IPL in part. All-rounder Nitish Rana will captain Kolkata in Iyer's absence. "Whatever little cricket I have played or coached, I have never gone back over things like squad unavailability," said Pandit. "Shreyas' absence will make a difference since he is important, but this is truly unfortunate. We are hoping Shreyas will be back very soon and that will make a lot of difference to the team. "When we select players and give responsibility to players, we see who is capable. And Nitish is capable. He has been with KKR for a long time and also has a strong domestic record. Like they say, 'all boxes to be ticked' and it has come down to that. "I am comfortable knowing he can handle the role. We don't see whether someone is deserving or not. Every player has different skills, and after thinking about what Nitish brings to the table, we are confident with the decision."

Pandit succeeded former Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum last year. Pandit has previously coached Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Vidarbha in Indian domestic cricket. "Challenges are everywhere. This is also one, but it is a challenge of a different kind. After domestic cricket, to come here where there are experienced international-level players with different reputations is a different challenge," he added. "I have already said that the players we have, many of them have been playing for their country and are experienced players. Ultimately, the game is not different, only the format is. As long as any team plays as a unit, it will make a difference." Kolkata have won the IPL twice. The Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the history of the tournament with five titles. The Gujarat Titans are the reigning champions.

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