Aakash Chopra, on the back of Eoin Morgan usurping Dinesh Karthik as KKR’s new skipper, has opined that the franchise would have been better off keeping an eye on the future and making Shubman Gill the skipper. Chopra opined that he did not see logic behind DK being ejected mid-season.
On Friday afternoon, the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise let slip the worst kept secret in cricket and announced that England’s limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan was taking over the captaincy from Dinesh Karthik with immediate effect. The franchise revealed that Karthik voluntarily ‘handed over’ the armband to Morgan and claimed that they were supportive of a rather ‘surprising’ decision from the Tamil Nadu man.
The decision has received mixed reactions from the masses as whilst one section - the one vocally critical about DK’s captaincy since the start of the season - has been left chuffed, the other has come down hard on the KKR management for getting press-ganged into making the change.
Reflecting on KKR’s decision, renowned commentator and former KKR player Aakash Chopra revealed that he was left puzzled by the call. Chopra stated KKR would have been better off making the captaincy switch before the commencement of the season and claimed that he would have rather seen them make a radical change, taking the future into consideration, and appoint young Shubman Gill the skipper.
“If you’re looking for a change, a radical thought, then start looking for the future. Some ends have justified the means - we’ve all been critical of DK’s captaincy - but they did win two games that they should have lost, under DK’s captaincy. I don’t see a reason he should have been removed. If they were to have a change, then Shubman Gill would have been my choice. Go radical, start thinking about the next season,” Chopra said in a video posted on ESPNCricinfo’s YouTube Channel.
“If you want to take that decision, take it before the season starts. There it’s fine because you’re punting that a World Cup-winning captain will transform the brand of cricket. But (changing captains) halfway through the season does not sit right with me.”
The release from KKR read that Karthik was relinquishing captaincy “with a view to focus on his batting and contributing more to the team’s cause” and giving his opinion on the same, Chopra stated that the move makes little sense, given Morgan, himself, has not fared too well with the bat. The former KKR batsman further noted that it was bizarre for a well-placed team like KKR, who are fourth in the standings, to get rid of the captain mid-way through the season.
“Are Kolkata actually faring that badly? They have won four games out of seven, they are in the top four. I’m pretty sure this decision was communicated to the team not today, but two to three days earlier, because they had a gap of thought between two games. This is not the kind of news you would wanna hear when you’re heading to a ground and preparing for a match.
“If you have won 4 out of 7, you’re actually decently placed in a league where a lot of teams are struggling. And when you look at the performance of both the players - of course Dinesh Karthik hasn’t had a great season, but he did score a fifty that allowed KKR to reach a defendable score versus KXIP - Eoin Morgan hasn’t really set the world on fire either. So because that’s the case, halfway through, you have to stick to your Indian captain,” Chopra opined.