The wicket-keeper batsman, Dinesh Karthik has been appointed the new skipper of the Indian Premier League (IPL), franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) ahead of the 11th edition of the cash-rich league, the franchise announced on Sunday.
The 32-year-old, who was picked up by Knight Riders for ₹7.4 Crore in this year’s mega-auction, was one of the front-runners to captain the team after the franchise decided not to retain/buy back their long-serving skipper Gautam Gambhir.
Karthik has previous experience of leading his state Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. He led Tamil Nadu to a title triumph in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2009-10. He was also the skipper of the India Red side that won the Duleep Trophy last year. In the T20 format, Karthik led TUTI Patriots to the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) title in the 2016 edition. He has a 72% win record as a skipper of Tamil Nadu in the shortest format of the game.
Dinesh played for Gujarat Lions in the 2017 IPL and he amassed 361 runs at an impressive average of 36.1. In the sixth edition of IPL, he played a crucial role in helping Mumbai Indians (MI) clinch the coveted trophy by scoring 510 runs and affecting 14 dismissals.
Dinesh Karthik will replace Gautam Gambhir
The veteran ‘keeper-batsman, who has also played for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), has managed to score as many as 2903 runs at a strike rate of 125.94 and affected 114 dismissals in his IPL career spanning 152 matches. He has also played 228 T20s, apart from 14 internationals for India, with 4441 runs and 186 dismissals to his name.
Talking about his new role, Karthik said, “KKR has done well consistently in the last ten years. The team has a great legacy. I am really happy and honored to lead this side. We have a good blend of youth and experience. We are looking forward to work under coach Jacques Kallis. All the foreign players are really good too. I will try to take the team forward from where Gautam Gambhir left.”
Knight Riders, the two-time champions, will kick-start their campaign against Royal Challengers at home on April 8.
KKR Squad: Dinesh Karthik (C), Robin Uthappa (VC), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Vijay Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi