Kolkata Knight Riders names Dinesh Karthik as skipper

After parting ways with Gambhir Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders for seven years in the Indian Premier League, the franchise named Dinesh Karthik as its skipper.

Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik will hope to come good for the Knights.   -  Vivek Bendre

After playing 152 IPL matches for five IPL teams in the last ten years, Dinesk Karthik will play for a sixth team – Kolkata Knight Riders, and lead it as well.

In a programme "Knight Club — the KKR Ka Captain Kaun," telecast live on Star Sports on Sunday morning, the franchise’s CEO and MD, Venky Mysore named Karthik as the captain.

 The 32-year-old from Tamil Nadu and India wicket-keeper batsman, Karthik bought at Rs. 7.4 crore at the big auction in Bangalore, will have Robin Uthappa as his deputy.

Karthik has had a good run in the last few months with the national selectors recalling him for ODIs last year against the West Indies, New Zealand and Sri Lanka after a gap of three years and for the Twenty20 internationals against the West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa after a gap of seven years.

When asked if his recall into the national team influenced KKR  to name him captain, Karthik said, "Maybe. I think so. Let’s be fair to them. They did not pick the captain and then the team. They picked the team in the hope that they will find the right captain in that mix. The good thing was that they had a few (in the basket) to pick from. They had some players who have been with them for ten years, some internationals stars and me, who has been around for some time, but who has never been part of their squad.

"The important thing for them was to check out if I would fit into their culture and mindset. They had their options, they weighed in the pros and cons and probably decided saying "this guy is playing international cricket and he is at a stage of his career, he will give a lot as a player and as a leader."

Probably this feeling made them tilt towards me. I was looking forward to this opportunity as soon as the team was picked. I was preparing for it mentally. So when they offered it to me, I was more than happy to take."

Among the top 15 top run getters in the league (he needs 97 to complete 3000 runs) Karthik said, "I am excited. It’s a big chance (captaincy) for me. It’s a first time opportunity for me in the IPL. KKR is a big franchise, it’s done phenomenally well in the last ten years. I would be honoured if I put KKR’s  legacy in the right direction. The Gautam Gambhir-led side did something really fantastic. To have won two IPLs is no mean achievement, so I’m really happy and honoured to be a part of this franchisee."

Talking about  aggression, Karthik said, "In terms of being an aggressive captain, I am somebody who is not aggressive outwardly by nature, but that does not mean I am not aggressive inside. While playing a game, I am one of those guys, who don’t even speak to the opponents, before the game or in the lead up to the game; these are some of the qualities which I have and these are the ways I show aggression."