Dinesh Karthik: The captain of Kolkata Knight Riders expressed pride at how his team made a comeback into the match in Sharjah.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik is contended with how his players staged a comeback into a 229-run chase against Delhi Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“The way the boys batted is something I am really proud of, we kept fighting till the end which is the nature of our team. Really happy with the effort we put in today,” Karthik said during the post-match presentation ceremony.
After batsman Nitish Rana’s ninth IPL half-century, Knight Riders lost track of the chase with all-rounder Andre Russell (13), Rana (58) and Karthik (6) getting out in quick succession. In addition to this phase where KKR lost momentum, Karthik also wished to concede 10 runs less in the first innings.
“Maybe in between 10-13 overs, we didn’t get many boundaries. We lost a couple of wickets as well which sets you back in such run chases.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 3, 2020
“To be honest, couple more sixes and we would have crossed the line, we wouldn’t be talking about the lengths. I thought it was a hard wicket to bowl on and the bowlers did a fabulous job, maybe 10 runs too many but its okay,” Karthik further said.
Dinesh Karthik hints at pondering over replacing Sunil Narine as KKR opener
With opening batsman Shubman Gill (28) getting out in the ninth over, Kolkata promoted Russell to No. 4. While the same has been discussed among fans and cricket experts for sometime now, the decision flopped eventually. However, the same didn’t affect Karthik’s impression of their star all-rounder.
“We trust him [Andre Russell] and believe he is the best in the business, we want to give him enough time to create an impact on the game and that’s something we want to encourage,” Karthik added.
Another selection conundrum for Knight Riders lies in the opening spot. All-rounder Sunil Narine, who has scored 795 runs for KKR at a strike rate of 164.26, not clicking at the top seems to be a concern for them.
In four IPL 2020 matches, Narine has scored 27 runs at an average of 6.75 and a strike rate of 87.09. While Karthik didn’t confirm the change, he opened up on discussing it with the team management.
“I haven’t thought about it but maybe after this game I will sit down with the coaching staff. We still believe in [Sunil] Narine and whenever he gets going he gets us off to a great start,” Karthik concluded.
Ideally, Knight Riders could have swapped Narine with England opening batsman Tom Banton. However, with them playing Rahul Tripathi in Kuldeep Yadav’s place tonight, another option for them is to swap the batting positions of Narine and Tripathi.
Coming in to bat at No. 8 in the 14th over, Tripathi scored 36 (16) with the help of three fours and three sixes to share a freaky 72-run partnership alongside Eoin Morgan. Having successfully opened the batting for Rising Pune Supergiant in the past, the 29-year old batsman has it in him to play the opener’s role with Gill.