Cricket

IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik named captain of Kolkata Knight Riders

Dinesh Karthik will lead Kolkata Knight Riders in the upcoming edition of IPL. The wicket-keeper batsman was bought for a whopping INR 7.4 crores by the franchise in the mega-auction held in January.

Interestingly, the 32 year-old has represented five different teams – Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions, since the inception of IPL in 2008. The upcoming season will be his first with the Kolkata-based franchise.

“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. “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.”

Also read: IPL 2018: 5 players who could make the most of their maiden season

Karthik takes the reins of captaincy from Gautam Gambhir, KKR’s leading run-scorer and a veteran of two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 respectively. “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.”

Dinesh Karthik of Mumbai bats during the Champions League twenty20 match

Besides Dinesh Karthik, Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa were also in contention for the captaincy role. While the Australian batsmen has been shrouded with injuries lately, Uthappa’s credentials for the role are relatively less as compared to that of Karthik.

“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.”

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