Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Kolkata Knight Riders have appointed Dinesh Karthik as their captain for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Karthik was one of the high-profile players the Knight Riders purchased at the IPL auction in January as they picked him up for INR 7.4 crores.
Prior to joining the Knight Riders, Karthik has bounced around from team to team as he has represented the Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions.
Veteran batsman Robin Uthappa was also in contention for the leadership position, but he was instead handed the vice-captaincy.
“I think the thing that stood out is that DK is at the age now in his career where he’s got the best years of his career in front of him,” assistant coach Simon Katich told Star Sports as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “He’s been involved in the IPL for 10 years. He’s got a fantastic domestic record captaining Tamil Nadu in the T20 tournament there. I think he’s got a 72% win-rate which is outstanding as a T20 skipper.”
Karthik will succeed Gautam Gambhir as the Knight Riders’ captain as Gambhir was bought by the Daredevils for INR 2.8 crores during the auction.
“The team that Gambhir led in the last seven years, I think he’s done a fabulous job,” Karthik said. “He’s left a sort of legacy which is the kind of thing I’d like to do, where you leave the team in good hands, and you take a team that was probably doing well and take it to a different level altogether. I would definitely like to be a part of that journey.”
Despite losing out on becoming captain, Uthappa admitted that he is excited about being the franchise’s vice-captain.
“To come in at this role is really exciting for me,” Uthappa said. “I’ve been able to add value to the team in the past in different scenarios in different forms. This gives me a more direct impact within the decision-making group so I hope to be adding the kind of value that bring us championships.
“I’m sure all of Kolkata will be right behind DK, as will I and as will the rest of the team. I’m going to be available to DK anytime he needs me, always ready to share my inputs. DK and I have known each other since our Under-17 days, so looking forward to working with him.”
The 2018 IPL will begin on April 7, but the Knight Riders’ will kick off their campaign against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens on April 8.