Dinesh Karthik was appointed as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders team for 11th edition of IPL, IPL 2018. Another crucial player for this team, Robin Uthappa was named for the post of vice-captain.
This was the biggest decision made by the franchise after not retaining its former captain Gautam Gambhir. Gambhir returned to his home team Delhi DareDevils after seven editions of IPL. Dinesh Karthik was picked up by the KKR franchise for Rs.7.4 crores.
Karthik led the TamilNadu domestic team in the past. He led the TUTI Patriots team in the Tamil Nadu Premiere League in 2016 edition. He led the Tamil Nadu towards title win in the Vijay Hazare tournament in 2009-10. He led the team of India Red that bagged the Duleep trophy last year.
The new skipper of KKR said that “It is an honor to represent Kolkata Knight Riders, one of the most successful franchises in the IPL and I look forward to this new challenge. I am excited about the squad that has been assembled, which has a great combination of experience and youth. I will do my best to represent brand KKR and the millions of KKR fans.”
Robin Uthappa recalled his U-17 cricket career and his association with the new captain. He played for KKR in almost all the IPL editions. He said: “DK and I know each other from our U-17 playing days; I’m really excited to work with him.
“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.”
Assistant coach of the team Simon Katich said in this regard that, “I think the thing that stood out is that Karthik is at the age now in his career where he’s got the best years of his career in front of him,”
“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. And obviously, the other thing about him is that he’s got a lot of respect from the players given what he’s achieved on the field and what he’s achieved as a captain domestically. He knows the conditions extremely well. He knows all the overseas players inside out having played so well over the last 10 years and this is a great time to give that opportunity to him and see what he can do,”
This senior keeper-batsman has a fantastic IPL career. He played for Gujarat Lions in 2017 and scored 361 runs at an average of 36.1. Karthik played a pivotal role in the sixth edition of IPL for Mumbai Indians to lift the title. He made 510 runs in that season and was behind 14 dismissals. In his IPL career, he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings Eleven Punjab, Delhi DareDevils and scored 2903 runs at a strike rate of 125.94 in 152 matches along with 114 dismissals. In his career, Karthik played 228 T20s along with 14 international matches for the country and scored 4441 runs and made186 dismissals.
Kolkata Knight Riders clinched the title twice and will encounter Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8th at Kolkata.