Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik’s plans to suffocate the Chennai Super Kings while defending a tricky total of 168 was successful as they prevailed by ten runs. Since a couple of games, there have been calls to replace Dinesh Karthik as captain with Eoin Morgan. Hence, the come-from-behind victory should give the keeper-batsman plenty of confidence as captain.
Rahul Tripathi’s 81 was the bedrock of Kolkata Knight Riders’ innings that stopped at 167 after playing their full 20 overs. Rahul Tripathi, who replaced Sunil Narine as the opening batsman, stayed till the 17th over to guide the Knight Riders to a competitive total. The likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, and Narine began promisingly; however, could not capitalise.
It would be an understatement to note that Chennai Super Kings were cruising at the half-way mark of their innings. After blasting 83 against Kings XI Punjab, Shane Watson was once again in the scheme of things, scoring a fifty to set up the foundation. However, Dinesh Karthik made some smart bowling changes to choke the Super Kings’ chase. The yellow army also made a tactical error by holding back Dwayne Bravo and instead sent Kedar Jadhav, who struggled even to rotate the strike.
“We thought we will ease Sunny’s pressure a little bit and send Rahul up” : Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik feels delighted of having a player like Sunil Narine and underlined that to reduce the pressure on him; the management decided to open with Rahul Tripathi. The 35-year old went on to praise the flexibility in their batting line-up and lauded Varun Chakravarthy and Narine to tie down the Super Kings’ batsmen, who began the chase well. The two spinners picked up the critical scalps of Shane Watson and MS Dhoni.
“There are some key players. Sunil Narine is one of us. The least we can do is back him. I am really proud of him as a player. We thought we will ease Sunny’s pressure a little bit and send Rahul up. Our batting is very fluid. I started at 3, I am batting at 7. That is the good thing. Over the years fluid line-ups have dine better. The way they batted at the start they did really well, but at the back end I had great faith in Sunny and Varun. That paid off for me,” Karthik told in the post-match presentation.