IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik focuses on pitch ahead of Delhi Daredevils clash | cricket | Hindustan Times
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IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik focuses on pitch ahead of Delhi Daredevils clash

Dinesh Karthik believes the bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils will be up for the challenge for Kolkata Knight Riders, despite their skipper Gautam Gambhir stepping down, in Indian Premier League clash (IPL) 2018.

cricket Updated: Apr 26, 2018 23:59 IST
N Ananthanarayanan
N Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
IPL 2018,Dinesh Karthik,Delhi Daredevils
Dinesh Karthik said that Kolkata Knight Riders will be alert when they take on Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 on Friday.(PTI)

For Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik, it is as good a time as any to go 2-0 up against bottom-placed Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League on Friday.

Having thumped Daredevils by 71 runs at home, and with the hosts are looking to regain their footing, especially after Gautam Gambir’s resignation as skipper, ideally it should be easy pickings.

Karthik, who stepped into Gambhir’s shoes at Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2018 and has kept them on course for playoffs, though refused he was eager to exploit the opposition’s plight.

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“From Gambhir’s point of view, I can totally understand what he was thinking. It must have been a hard few days before he took the call,” he said at a media interaction on Thursday ahead of training at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground.

Show of goodwill

The goodwill was apparent. As Gambhir had a knock at one end of the ground, KKR coach Jacques Kallis and all-rounder Andre Russell walked up to have a chat.

“Whether it is a right time to play a team, I don’t think that way,” Karthik said. “They are a team with good skill sets, and similarly we are…, two good teams playing against each other.

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“That is how I am looking at it. These kind of things are very interesting when it happens to another team. It will totally depend on how they turn up for the game. Knowing them, I am sure it will be a good match between two evenly contested teams,” said Karthik, a former Delhi Daredevils player.

Karthik the finisher

Karthik’s appointment as KKR skipper follows a steady build-up in which he has shone with the bat in domestic cricket and won a place in India’s limited overs sides. At KKR, he has provided the calming influence as a finisher.

The wicketkeeper-batsman has been a picture of consistency batting at No 5 for KKR, scoring 194 in six innings.

He acknowledged captaincy has provided a fresh perspective to his game. “Just the way I have been preparing for games. I have been consistent in my thought process and that has helped me remain in the same space consistently.

“It has changed my approach towards a lot of people. I am thinking for 10 other people on the ground, what they are thinking and how can I get the best out of them.

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“If you are just a player you are only thinking about yourself, getting the best out of yourself, and that’s what the team needs.”

The slow Kotla pitch may be ideal for KKR wrist spinners - Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla - to exploit.

“Our spinners have done consistently well, and going forward, I am sure they know what their role is.

“Spin is going to be an integral part of the tournament. The spinners have done pretty well, so credit to them. They are coming in with some new skills and always challenging the batsmen. And as we move on into the tournament, because of the heat and everything, the wicket will slow down and am sure they will be a lot more in play.”