Former India and Kolkata Knight Riders cricketer Gautam Gambhir has lauded the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise for retaining former captain and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik ahead of IPL 2021.
Kolkata Knight Riders released just 5 players- Tom Banton, Chris Green, Nikhil Naik, M Siddharth, and Siddhesh Lad – before the mini-auction, which is set to take place next month.
Karthik’s retention is significant because of the fact that the Tamil Nadu cricketer had relinquished the captaincy duties midway through the last season following an indifferent season with the bat. He managed just 169 runs across various positions that he batted at during the course of 14 innings at an average of 14.08 and a strike-rate of 126.11.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) January 20, 2021
Lauding KKR’s move to retain Dinesh Karthik besides taking a dig at RCB, who released a whole host of players, retaining just 12.
“Dinesh Karthik had a very bad season last year. He was also removed from the captaincy, but despite that if you have retained him, it shows that the franchise is backing you. And because of that your confidence increases, and that is the difference between KKR and RCB,” said Gautam Gambhir on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’
Gambhir further added that he agrees with all those franchises including KKR, who have retained their main core, and have only released what he termed as “excess baggage”
“I am in agreement with all those franchisees who have not released too many players. It shows you have kept confidence in your players. This is called releasing just the excess baggage. So, it is not that surprising. The core is still there, they have not done too many changes,” said Gautam Gambhir.
“They might probably take one or two players and might have their eyes on them if they can get them. If you see, the playing XI is as it is. Probably all the players they have released were not part of their first playing-XI,” he added.