IPL 2018
IPL 2018: KKR batting coach Simon Katich remarked RCB as one of the favourites
By Sandy - Apr 6, 2018 10:52 am
Views 55

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batting coach Simon Katich has remarked his team as the underdog while he has claimed Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as one of the favourites for the IPL 2018.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

IPL 2018 will begin on Saturday. KKR will start their journey in this tournament on this Sunday in the home game (at Kolkata) against RCB.

Prior to the game, Katich claimed, “No doubt, we go in as underdogs as RCB are one of the joint-favourites to win the title. We look forward to the challenge in proving people wrong.”

Also read: Kolkata Knight Riders – Probable XI Prediction

When they had met in the last season at Kolkata, RCB skipper Virat Kohli had scored a golden duck.

Talking about their opening game, Katich recalled their previous encounter in Kolkata as he quoted, “Quick outfield, beautiful conditions, and a full house on Sunday. We are looking forward to a fantastic start to the IPL for us. We just can’t wait to get out there. Hopefully, we will get him (Kohli) caught at the slips like last year.”

Simon Katich

KKR will miss Gautam Gambhir’s leadership in this season as he wished to play for Delhi Daredevils. Dinesh Karthik has replaced in the captaincy role for the two-time IPL winning champion team.

Katich has the belief on Karthik for the captaincy role as he said that Karthik’s high experiences will be helpful for the side. While it is the sixth franchise for Karthik in his IPL career, he has played 152 IPL matches.

Dinesh Karthik – KKR skipper

The former Australian Test opener said on that, “From captaincy point of view, he’s in the perfect time of his career to really grab the opportunity. He has done that with Tamil Nadu with a fair bit of success. He is a highly experienced player in the IPL, played for 10 years. I don’t think he (Karthik) will be under pressure. First and foremost thing will be to give guidance to this group. He has got a lot of experienced players around him, particularly in overseas group, and there’s the likes of Piyush Chawla, Vinay Kumar and Robin Uthappa. Our role is to take the pressure off him and we look forward to him continuing the form he showed for India recently.”

Katich is happy after observing that Chris Lynn is getting fit before the beginning of the tournament.

The 42-years old KKR batting coach said, “Obviously, Lynn has injury concern but he’s fully fit at the moment. Judging by his form in the practice sessions, hopefully we will see some fireworks on April 8.”

Chris Lynn

While KKR will miss Gambhir’s consistent responsible batting, Katich believes that Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn will provide the perfect start for them.

Talking about that, Katich said, “We have Robin Uthappa, he has a lot of experience particularly with the KKR. He has a magnificent record — the top five all time IPL run scorers. Combine him with the power of Chris Lynn and we feel we have fair bit of experience at the top of the order.”

In addition, KKR will also miss the in-form batsman Manish Pandey’s service. Manish had played for KKR from 2014 to 2017 while he will play in IPL 2018 for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

Katich believes Dinesh Karthik and former Mumbai Indians batsman Nitish Rana can fill the important role of Manish Pandey’s middle-order batting responsibility.

He said, “Manish did a very good job for us in the middle order for a number of years. He’s now playing for India, so he’s a class act. Unfortunately, when it comes to the budget, it was a big spend at the auction. We felt the squad was important and we could not just change that for one player. As a result, we had to let him go to the Sunrisers. It’s a big role to fill but we have likes of Dinesh and Rana to fill in the role.”

While KKR’s experienced spinner Sunil Narine has been reported for his bowling action during the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL 2018), Katich said that the off-spinner is working on his action and will be available for the franchise from their opening game.

sunil- narine-kkr
Sunil Narine

Katich claimed, “He went back to Trinidad and spent a lot of time working on his action with Carl Crowe. He’s got a lot of hard work there. Carl has been working on his action for a number of years since he got reported first. At the moment, we are pretty comfortable where’s he is at in terms of his action. Hopefully, we will see him back there on April 8.”

Also read: X-Factors In Kolkata Knight Riders Squad

In the experienced squad, KKR also has some young players who were in the India U-19 squad during this year’s U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup, where India won the trophy for the record fourth time. Opener Shubman Gill and pacers Shivam Mavi & Kamlesh Nagarkoti are those young players who had played in this year’s U-19 WC.

Katich believes one or two spots will be available for the youngsters during the IPL 2018. He spoke on that, “Given that we have a lot of experience in your team, there might be one or two spots available for the youngsters to grab an opportunity and perform.”

Katich also spoke on the ball-tampering incident. He credited the Australian tainted trio for accepting their suspensions from Cricket Australia (CA) and decided to not appeal the ban.

Katich said on that, “All three players — Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft — haven’t appealed the ban. They have taken it on their chin and Cricket Australia sent a strong message that they will not condone that sort of behaviour. It’s to the player’s credit that they have accepted the ban. Hopefully, in a year’s time, or nine months for Bancroft, we will see all of them back and playing for Australia at some stage.

“They are all good young lads, unfortunately, they made a bad mistake and everyone does that in life at times. I hope they will come back bigger and better players. It’s something we never did.”