Karthik: Focus on KKR, not thinking about World Cup selection

The 33-year-old Kolkata Knight Riders captain made light of talk about World Cup selection, saying “the lesser I think about the World Cup, the better it is for me.”

KKR will do its best to tackle Sunrisers' Rashid Khan within the game plan that it has, Dinesh Karthik said.   -  K. R. Deepak

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik said his priority is to lead the Indian Premier League (IPL) team to a good performance and not think about a spot in the Indian team for the One-Day International (ODI) World Cup.

“The most important thing for me is to do well for KKR and see the team doing well. I am sure the World Cup will take care of itself in that situation,” Karthik said on the eve of his team’s opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing IPL season. The 33-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman seemed to make light of talk about World Cup selection saying that “the lesser I think about the World Cup, the better it is for me.”

Asked how he looked to face the threat of the Sunrisers’ Afghanistan player Rashid Khan, who almost singlehandedly ended KKR’s title hopes with a fine all-round performance in Qualifier 2 last season, he said: “He is a special bowler in T20s (Twenty20 matches). We will do our best to tackle him within the game plan that we have,” Karthik said. “Having said that, they have a very good bowling attack and it is going to be a very interesting game with two good teams playing against each other.”

Meanwhile, Sunrisers coach Tom Moody said captain Kane Williamson may not be able to make the side on Sunday as he is nursing an injury, but that is not going to worry the team as it is “not a long-term injury.”

“In case he is not available tomorrow, we hope to have him back by the next game,” Moody said. The Sunrisers coach said the team management sought to retain Williamson as captain despite the return of previous captain David Warner as the former is the “the standing international captain who is admired globally and also did well with us last year.”

Warner sat out of the Sunrisers training session on Saturday, fuelling speculation that he may not be available against Kolkata Knight Riders, but Moody said the Australian opener will play on Sunday in his first match since the ball-tampering scandal.

“Warner is available. He is jumping out of his skin to start his campaign,” Moody said.