'He is the pro version of Suryakumar Yadav': Ojha has advice that 'will do wonders' for Kolkata Knight Riders
- KKR were plagued with a few issues, an unstructured batting line-up included. And if KKR are to put up an improved show this year, it will require some sorting.
Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha has a piece of advice for Kolkata Knight Riders, which he feels if followed, will benefit the franchise a lot. KKR narrowly missed out on qualifying for the IPL playoffs last year, losing the fourth spot to Sunrisers Hyderabad. KKR were plagued with a few issues, an unstructured batting line-up included. And if KKR are to put up an improved show this year, it will require some sorting.
Coincidentally, the two-time IPL champions began their IPL 2021 campaign against Sunrisers, whom they beat by 10 runs. Batting first, KKR posted 187, a target SRH failed to chase down. This time around, KKR's batting looks a lot better, and it came good in their season opener, but if they can make one little adjustment, Ojha reckons it will make a world of difference to them.
Ojha's suggestion is directed towards none other than Dinesh Karthik, feeling that KKR batsman would be better suited to either open the innings or bat at No. 3. Last year, Karthik spent most of the season batting down, either at 5, 6 or at times even 7, with mostly captain Eoin Morgan batting ahead of him at No. 4. Calling Karthik a batsman of Suryakumar Yadav's caliber, Ojha believes Karthik should bat higher than his usual position this year.
"I believe Dinesh Karthik opening or coming one down will do wonders to KKR because he is a guy if he bats long, he is so versatile. He is the pro version of Suryakumar Yadav. That's what I feel, I have seen right from my childhood," Ojha told Sports Today. "That's the reason I have always said that Dinesh Karthik should always come as an opener or maybe one down. He needs those 7, 8 extra deliveries so that you know he can set himself up."
Against Sunrisers on Sunday, Karthik walked out to bat No. 6 and remained unbeaten on 22 off nine balls, hitting two fours and a six. Last year, Karthik had a woeful season for the Knight Riders, scoring 169 runs in 14 games at an average of 14.08 with one half-century, statistically his third worst season after 2015 and 2008.