Former Zimbabwean captain and present Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Bowling coach Heath Streak is feeling great after knowing that Dinesh Karthik will lead the KKR team in IPL 2018. While Streak is confident about Karthik and KKR, he also shared his thinking about T20 cricket and the current ICC World Cup format.
Recently, former Zimbabwean all-rounder, Heath Streak had a chat with Cricket Country, where he shared many things.
While the most successful KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir was wishing to play this IPL season for Delhi Daredevils, it was known that KKR is going to play this season under a new leadership. While KKR has their one of the most experienced player Robin Uthappa in the squad, they have chosen new KKR member Dinesh Karthik for the leadership role.
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Karthik was bought by KKR in the 2018 IPL Auction for INR 7.4 crore. At present, Karthik is one of the trending Indian cricketers after an extraordinary match-winning performance against Bangladesh in the recently ended Nidahas Trophy final.
Streak is looking very confident on Dinesh Karthik’s captaincy. The former Zimbabwean captain told Cricket Country, “DK is playing exceptionally good cricket. He is in a very good and confident form at the moment. So, I think it is an excellent decision. He’s the kind of a guy who gets along well with everyone. He is very well-spoken and is very astute as a cricketer. So, I’m sure he’ll do a good job for KKR and will lead the team with really good experience.”
However, it is not the first time when Streak and Karthik are working together for an IPL team. In the previous two IPL seasons, they were the members of Gujarat Lions.
Streak claimed that they have the good relations. He quoted, “Yes, we share a good rapport. He was a good friend to me during my two years in Gujarat. He loves cricket and loves talking about cricket. I’m looking forward to sharing more moments with him. He has been in red-hot form in his two years for Gujarat, and I’m sure he will continue that form.”
Streak also spoke about former South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis who is also the present head coach of KKR team. Talking about Kallis, Streak said, “I had the misfortune of playing against Kallis as an opposition. He was a great player, and it feels nice to be on the same side. He is a very calm and collected individual. I’m really looking forward to working with Kallis and Simon Katich. It is a great trio and has a lot of experience in it.”
Streak also praised the Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc, who was bought by KKR in 2018 IPL Auction for INR 9.4 crore. Talking about the Australian pacer, Streak commented, “KKR fans are rightly excited to have him, especially in the conditions there at the Eden Gardens. Starcy is definitely up there in the top of the world. His swing upfront will be hugely valuable.”
Streak also spoke out about two young KKR pacers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Both of them highly impressed with their consistently 140+ kmph bowling speed during the 2018 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup, where India won for the record fourth time.
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Talking about them, Streak said, “They two are very promising young bowlers. I’ve followed them extensively in the U-19 World Cup. It will be slightly different for them, bowling at international players who are superb. Also, they are not going to play only at Eden Gardens, which favours the seamers, but also bowl in other testing venues. They will be bowling to the likes of Virat Kohlis, who are going to be a different kettle of fish. It will be a great experience for them. They are very young, so I hope they will learn fast and adapt quickly to the pressure of playing in IPL. But they have also got the requisite skills to do exceptionally well for KKR.”
Speaking about the differences for the bowlers between T20 format and the other cricketing formats, Streak claimed, “In T20s, the bowlers are a lot more defensive with batsmen taking charge on you. So you are looking at how to contain unless you are looking to exploit a specific weakness of a batsman which you have picked up in analysis. But in general, a defensive mindset works, which is different from the other formats.”
Streak has also raised the question on the upcoming 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup format, where the number teams have been reduced from 14 to 10. Talking about that, the present Zimbabwean head coach said, “The 10-team World Cup is a pity. Irrespective of who qualifies, there will be 4 or 5 teams who will be very competitive in a World Cup. That’s what the World Cup is about, seeing how the new teams feature against the best teams in the world. I think cricket should be growing as a sport. There are more and more competitive sides. Teams which once used to be associates are now getting full international status. It (format of the World Cup) should have stayed the same or at least a 12-team tournament.”