Dinesh Karthik has stepped down as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise confirmed on Friday. The wicketkeeper-batsman has taken the decision with ‘a view to focus on his batting and contributing more to the team’s cause’. England captain Eoin Morgan has replaced him as the captain of the two-time IPL champions.
Dinesh Karthik has faced criticism from several quarters for his performance with the bat in the ongoing season. Barring the 29-ball 58 runs knock against Kings XI Punjab, the right-handed batsman has not contributed much with the bat in the tournament so far.
Venky Mysore, CEO of the franchise, lauded Dinesh Karthik for putting the team’s interest ahead of him and also stated that the franchise was surprised by the decision. Mysore also expressed his delight over Morgan’s willingness to lead the team.
“We are fortunate to have leaders such as DK, who has always put the team first. It takes a lot of courage for someone like him to take a decision such as this. While we were surprised by his decision, we are respectful of his wishes,” said Mysore.
“We are also fortunate that Eoin Morgan, the 2019 World Cup-winning captain, who has been the vice captain, is willing to lead the side going forward. DK and Eoin have worked brilliantly together during this tournament and although Eoin takes over as captain, this is effectively a role swap and we expect that this transition will work in a seamless manner,” he added.
Dinesh Karthik was appointed KKR’s captain in 2018 after the legendary Gautam Gambhir left the franchise. In his maiden season, he led the team to the playoffs before KKR crashed out at the group stage in 2019.
As far as the performance of KKR in the ongoing season is concerned, they are currently at the fourth spot with 4 wins from the opening seven games. They will be in action again on Friday when they lock horns against defending champions Mumbai Indians.
KKR will be hoping that Morgan ends their long wait for the IPL title. The Kolkata-based franchise has now won the elusive title since 2014. Morgan is widely regarded as the best white-ball format captain in the world at the moment. The England skipper led his side to the final of the 2016 T20 World Cup before guiding the team to its first-ever 50-over World Cup triumph in 2019.