IPL 2022: Shreyas Iyer is a born leader, says KKR mentor Hussey

Iyer, was named captain by KKR team management ahead of pacer Pat Cummins, who leads the Australian Test side.

Shreyas Iyer was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 12.25 crore at the IPL 2022 Auction.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Kolkata Knight Riders mentor David Hussey feels new skipper Shreyas Iyer has a good cricketing brain and has proved his skills as a leader during his stint as Delhi Capitals captain.

Iyer, who led Delhi Capitals to the final in 2020, was bought by KKR for Rs 12.25 crore at the mega auction last month.

He was named captain by KKR team management ahead of pacer Pat Cummins, who leads the Australian Test side.

"Shreyas is a born leader, just the way he walks around, he commands respect. Knowing Pat (Cummins) really well, he would be a good deputy and would also lead from the front," Hussey said during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

"But the way Shreyas has captained in the past for Delhi, he has a very good cricket brain and a nice vision of how to play the game and I think he will express himself really well. I think it's a smart move from Brendon (McCullum) and KKR management." Iyer has been in sensational form recently for India.

Asked Hussey how he would go about coaching the 27-year-old, he replied: "The best coaching is to just leave the good players alone, let them go where they work.

"He is in rare form at the moment. I don't know him, I'm getting to know him but he comes across as true leader and a person who knows his game really really well."

KKR was dealt a blow after T20 specialist Alex Hales withdrew from the tournament citing bubble fatigue.

Adding to KKR's misery is that the Australian duo of Cummins and Aaron Finch, who was roped in as Hales' replacement, are expected to miss the team's first few games as they are touring Pakistan.

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"It is a concern to not have your best players available but saying that international cricket is paramount. They miss the first five games but they'll hit the ground running, match fit. Both are quality players. Hopefully they can perform as per the game plan," Hussey said.

KKR also picked up out-of-favour Ajinkya Rahane and Hussey is confident the former India Test vice-captain will come good.

"He's been a class player for over a decade, he's dominated for Rajasthan Royals and I believe he has at least 5-10 years of international cricket left in him.

"He might not be scoring the runs he wants recently but they way he is training he's going to dominate in the IPL and also he's a leader amongst the group as well."

The former Australia all-rounder feels KKR has been able to build a "well balanced" bowling attack.

"Good to have Umesh Yadav back in the side. He works hard on his game and he's an absolute beast and hopefully he charges in and bowls exceptionally quick.

"We got good fast bowlers in Umesh, (Tim) Southee, (Shivam) Mavi and Cummins and good spin in Varun (Chakravarthy) and (Sunil) Narine," he said.

Asked if KKR is missing a quality wicketkeeper, Hussey said, "No, I think we are happy after the auction.

"We got Sheldon Jackson, who is a wonderful wicketkeeper, good striker of the cricket ball and dominates in the Ranji Trophy, also he been the part of our team for long time now and I think he's going to set the tournament alight.

"Then we also have Sam Billings. He's also a quality wicketkeeper who has played Test cricket for England and kept wickets in the shorter format so I think we are pretty well versed in the keeping department and we are well balanced in all departments of our squad."

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