IPL: KKR assistant coach Katich backs skipper Karthik as finisher
Dinesh Karthik played a solid hand last season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders and led the side to a third-placed finish. Ahead of the 12th edition of the IPL, KKR will pin their hopes on the veteran Indian cricketer. Assistant coach Simon Katich is confident that DK will do well as a finisher in IPL 2019. Here's more.
Karthik had a strong IPL 2018 campaign. He scored 498 runs in 16 matches for the eastern giants. He amassed two fifties with a best of 52. DK gave ample opportunities to youngsters in the side and is expected to follow the same this year.
Karthik was earlier dropped from the Indian cricket team for the recently concluded ODI series against Australia at home. India went on to lose the five-match series by a 2-3 margin. The selectors chose Rishabh Pant ahead of Karthik and wanted to hand the youngster opportunities to stake a claim for a place in the ICC World Cup 2019 squad.
Pant failed to grab the opportunities in the two ODIs that he featured in. He managed a forgettable 16-run knock in the fifth ODI as India failed to chase a target of 273. Earlier, he was also poor with his keeping skills in Mohali. Pant's poor show has opened up the berth once again and Katich highlighted the role DK will be assigned.
"I think what Dinesh brings in his experience (in crunch situations). He has played that role very well for India and for us. You know what you will get from him down the innings. He is hard to bowl to. So he will be in the mix for the World Cup. It will give the Indian selectors a tough job," said KKR's Katich.
DK knows how to apply the finishing touches and be the anchor while chasing. His captaincy has improved as well and that will help KKR this season. DK's trust in the youngsters has to be lauded. KKR have built their base around Indian youngsters. These young players will be better prepared this term and use the conditions in their favor.