‘Shreyas Iyer next in line to become India captain, ahead of Shubman Gill after IPL 2024 triumph’: KKR legend | Crickit
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‘Shreyas Iyer next in line to become India captain, ahead of Shubman Gill after IPL 2024 triumph’: KKR legend

May 27, 2024 06:52 PM IST

Uthappa asserted that with the IPL triumph, Shreyas had moved ahead in the pecking order for the next India captain ahead of young batting star Shubman Gill.

Former India batter Robin Uthappa has backed Shreyas Iyer to be the next Indian captain after he led Kolkata Knight Riders to the IPL 2024 title with a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final. Iyer displayed a calm demeanour and sharp instincts while leading KKR this season. He managed his resources well and used his bowlers well in the crunch situation, and Gautam Gambhir's guidance also helped him flourish in the leadership role.

Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Shreyas Iyer celebrates the team's victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2024 final(IPL-X)
Kolkata Knight Riders' captain Shreyas Iyer celebrates the team's victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League 2024 final(IPL-X)

It was Iyer's second season as KKR captain. He led them in the 2022 edition, where they finished seventh. Meanwhile, he missed the IPL last season due to a back injury. The Kolkata-based franchise reinstated him as captain, and interim captain for 2023 Nitish Rana switched back to Iyer's deputy this year.

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Uthappa asserted that with the IPL triumph, Iyer had moved ahead in the pecking order for the next India captain ahead of young batting star Shubman Gill.

"I am going to say it here. He is going to be the future India captain. I think he is next in line, maybe even ahead of Shubman Gill. He has got the character and wherewithal to handle a team. I think there’s a lot he has learnt this season. You have got to understand that he was working with Gautam Gambhir, Chandrkant Pandit and Abhishek Nayar – three very strong personalities," Uthappa said about Shreyas Iyer's captaincy," Uthappa told JioCinema.

Also Read | Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh can't keep calm after KKR's IPL final win: ‘…Gambhir’s fearless mentorship and SRK'

The former KKR star said that it's not easy to navigate while having strong personalities like Gautam Gambhir, Chandrkant Pandit and Abhishek Nayar in the coaching department but Iyer did well making the right calls on the field.

"You have to navigate your way through these strong personalities throughout the season while having your way, and learning on the run. That’s not easy to navigate through an entire IPL season while performing, giving your best and making the right calls. He has done that with utter dominance. That tells you a lot about his character and what he believes he is capable of. I think because of that, he sets himself up in the right space to be in the conversation for the next Indian captain," Uthappa further added.

Iyer had a tough time before the IPL as he was left out of the BCCI central contract list after complaining of back pain and missing the Test matches against England and the Ranji Trophy semi-final. However, he didn't let his affect in IPL 2024 and showed great composure as a leader despite all the outside noises.

Uthappra praised Iyer for not making a fuss about what happened to him before the IPL and only spoke about it before the final when reporters asked him about the matter in the pre-match press conference.

"Even after going through a lot, the back injury, the World Cup snub, not getting a central contract – a lot of conjecture about what was happening with him. He barely spoke about it, I think just before the final, he touched upon it. I think that goes to show he has got his sight clear on what he is going to do for himself and the teams he plays for," Uthappa said.

"I think it’s just the beginning of the leader that we are going to see Shreyas Iyer is going to be," concluded the former KKR batter.

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