Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik has admitted that the think tank will have a discussion about the batting position of Sunil Narine, who for the fourth game running failed to get going as an opener. Karthik further defended the decision to promote Russell, who did not fire on the day.
Despite Delhi Capitals putting on a mammoth 228 on the board, on the back of a masterclass from Shreyas Iyer, there was still considerable optimism in the KKR camp, knowing that chasing 200+ scores was nothing more than regulation in a ground like Sharjah. However, despite threatening to chase down the target at different points in the chase, the Kolkata batsmen never got going and, as a result, slumped to a disappointing 18-run defeat.
Among the talking points from the chase was the role of Sunil Narine, who yet again failed as an opener. On the back of scores of 9, 0 and 15 in the first three games, Narine yet again disappointed scoring a three-ball five, and the decision came as a baffling one, particularly with Rahul Tripathi in the team. Speaking post-match, skipper Dinesh Karthik admitted that the management will take a call on Narine’s batting position, but asserted that he has full faith in the West Indian.
“I haven't thought about it (making the change at the top) but maybe after this game I will sit down with the coaching staff.. We still believe in Narine and whenever he gets going he gets us off to a great start,” Karthik said post match.
Andre Russell, on the night, came in as early as the 9th over, but it was a move that backfired as he lasted only 8 balls, falling prey yet again to the bowling of Kagiso Rabada. Karthik defended the decision to promote the big Jamaican and claimed that the management wants to ‘encourage’ Russell batting up the order.
“We trust him (Russell) and believe he is the best in the business, we want to give him enough time to create an impact on the game and that's something we want to encourage.”
KKR seemed to lose the plot in the middle-over phase, particularly when Amit Mishra was operating for Delhi, where they did not hit as many boundaries as they would have liked. Karthik rued the same and admitted that his bowlers might have conceded 10 runs too many but attested that he was proud with the way his side played.
“The way the boys batted is something I am really proud of, we kept fighting till the end which is the nature of our team. Really happy with the effort we put in today. Maybe in between 10-13 overs we didn't get many boundaries, we lost a couple of wickets as well which sets you back in such run chases. To be honest, couple more sixes and we would have crossed the line, we wouldn't be talking about the lengths. I thought it was a hard wicket to bowl on and the bowlers did a fabulous job, maybe 10 runs too many but its okay.”