'He is making a serious case for India captaincy': Shoaib Akhtar says 27-year-old star 'proving his worth' in IPL 2022
- The former Pakistan speedster spoke highly about the Indian player, insisting that he has the potential to be Team India's future captain.
The 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League saw a number of new Indian captains in the tournament; while some are donning the leadership hat for the first time in IPL (Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Mayank Agarwal), Shreyas Iyer has returned to captaincy at the Kolkata Knight Riders. The right-handed batter had led the Delhi Capitals during the 2019 and 2020 editions of the tournament, but was forced to acquit the spot due to injury in the previous season of the tournament.
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won the bidding race for Iyer in the mega auction (at INR 12.25 crore) in February, and he was named the captain of the team ahead of the beginning of the new season. Iyer's KKR began the campaign on a brilliant note, defeating defending champions Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in the opening game. In three matches so far, KKR have won two and currently sit at the second position; the side will take on the Mumbai Indians in their fourth match of the season later today.
Ahead of the game, former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar, who has represented the Knight Riders during the opening season of the IPL in 2008, said that Iyer is making a “serious case” for India's captaincy with his performances in the IPL.
“Iyer is not putting pressure on the IPL with his captaincy, he is making a serious case for Team India's captaincy as well. He wants to cement his place in the Indian team and lead it as well. He is proving his worth,” Akhtar told Sportskeeda.
In addition to Iyer, Akhtar also said that the KKR should “not give up” on senior India batter Ajinkya Rahane, who was dropped from the Indian Test team in February amid inconsistent performances.
“He should continue to score runs and lead the team well, and I believe he will become a big brand in the near future. Rahane has to deliver. KKR should not give up on Rahane so soon. Hopefully, he will perform,” said Akhtar.