Newly-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik calls Virat Kohli his inspiration | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Newly-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik calls Virat Kohli his inspiration

Dinesh Karthik, who has been appointed as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, said he would like to emulate current India skipper Virat Kohli and lead from the front.

cricket Updated: Mar 04, 2018 17:33 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Dinesh Karthik was named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders for 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.
Dinesh Karthik was named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders for 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday.(Twitter )

As individuals, Dinesh Karthik and Virat Kohli are poles apart. While Kohli is known for his aggression on the field, Karthik likes to keep a calm demeanour in the middle.

However, soon after being named the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, Karthik said that when it comes to inspiration, he looks no further than the Indian skipper.

(Read | Dinesh Karthik appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain for IPL 2018)

“Virat Kohli leads from the front. He sets an example with his own performances. That is something I would like to do as well — lead by an example rather than by too many words,” said the Tamil Nadu cricketer after KKR CEO Venky Mysore announced him as the captain of the side during a live TV show on Star Sports in Mumbai on Sunday.

Talking about his mild image on the field, the wicket-keeper batsman said he likes to show aggression in his own way. “By nature, I am not that aggressive outwardly. But from inside, I am very aggressive. I like to do small things on the field that really matter --- like looking into the eyes of your rivals. I love to be there in tough situations and face the heat. I am not going to stop players who want to express their aggression on the field, although I would try to control them to ensure they don’t get fined.”

(Read | Robin Uthappa and I complement each other well: KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik)

The 32-year-old, who was bought for R7.4 crore by the KKR in the auctions, was quite happy with the resources at his disposal, especially the overseas recruits and Indian wrist-spinners.

“We have a great side. Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Mitchell Starc are probably going to be our four overseas players in the playing XI. All of them are proven match winners.

(Read | IPL 2018: Rising Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini looks to cash in on RCB stint)

“I am also very excited about captaining wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla. Wrist-spinners are the flavour of the season and the way I use them is going to be very crucial to our cause.

KKR are among the most successful teams in IPL with two titles. This year’s IPL marks a transition for the Kolkata-based franchise as they chose not to retain their successful leader Gautam Gambhir in the mega auctions and instead decided to build their team around a new leader.

(Read | Ravichandran Ashwin not looking at IPL 2018 as platform for India comeback)

PERFECT FOIL

Though Robin Uthappa’s name as Gambhir’s successor was doing the rounds, Karthik eventually got the nod from the team management. Uthappa was appointed Karthik’s deputy.

Replying to a question on his relationship with Uthappa, Karthik said both complement each other very well.

(Read | BCCI confirms use of Decision Review System in IPL 2018)

“We complement each other. He is an emotional person who wears his heart on the sleeve. I take my decisions rationally and don’t like to show too much of emotion. He will be my perfect foil and together we can take the team forward.”

KKR CEO Venky Mysore was all praise for Karthik and said the Tamil Nadu stumper would prove a good leader of a young team.

“We have three Under-19 World Cup stars in Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi. They are the stars of future. Karthik has been involved in the IPL since its inception and therefore he can help these players grow both as cricketer and as individual.”

In the IPL, Karthik has played for five different teams — Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and most recently Gujarat Lions. KKR would be his sixth team in the cash-rich league. Though he has never captained an IPL side before, he has served as stand-in captain for some of these teams besides regularly leading Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket.