Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 16
Dinesh Karthik has given up the captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders, after being under some pressure due to some of his decisions that failed to click, apart from his own batting form.
The most notable decision that backfired was his continuing to use Sunil Narine as an opener. Narine had scores of 9, 0, 15 and 3 before being shunted down the order. Narine has been underwhelming as a bowler too.
Two, the team’s most destructive batsman, Eoin Morgan, has not been getting to face enough balls to do the damage. Karthik himself has been below par with the bat, scoring 112 runs from 82 balls with a poor average of 15.42 before giving up.
Though KKR are currently fourth on the points table with four wins, experts feel better decision-making by the team leadership could have put KKR in a better position. These were the factors due to which Karthik gave up captaincy. Karthik told the KKR management that he wanted to “focus on his batting and contributing more to the team’s cause.” Morgan, the captain of England’s World Cup-winning team last year and Karthik’s deputy at KKR, was the natural choice to take over.
“Yes, I was surprised, as was everybody,” Morgan said in an interview. “Yesterday, DK informed he wanted to step back and focus on his batting as he feels that is the best option for the team. I think it is incredibly selfless and that also shows a lot of courage from him to do that, putting the team first ahead of him being the skipper.”
“I am delighted to continue the leadership role… and hopefully, continue to work alongside our players,” Morgan added. “I think between me and Dinesh, captain and vice-captain, we can be at the forefront of that.”
Morgan said youngsters such as Shubman Gill have also been “leading from the front”. “We have a lot of young guys coming through, leading from the front. Gill, Rana to name a few,” he said.
Others who gave up IPL captaincy
It generally signalled the end of their IPL careers
After a poor show by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the early part of IPL 2018, captain Gautam Gambhir stepped aside and handed over the charge to Shreyas Iyer. That spelt the end of Gambhir’s career.
The Aussie great gave up Mumbai Indians captaincy in 2013, and Rohit Sharma replaced him.
He gave up captaincy right before the start of IPL 2012, handing over the reins to Harbhajan Singh.
The Kiwi spinner gave up Royal Challengers captaincy in 2012, in order to make room for Muttiah Muralitharan in the playing XI. Virat Kohli took the reins.
Stepped down as Rajasthan Royals captain in 2015, and fellow Australian Steven Smith took over. He’s still going strong in the IPL.