Former India spinner, Pragyan Ojha feels that Dinesh Karthik could be better utilized by the Kolkata Knight Riders if he is batting in the top 3. Regarded as one of the best finishers in the country, the Tamil Nadu captain once again showed his finishing prowess on Sunday against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
After a disappointing IPL season last year in the UAE, which also saw him step down as the skipper of the side handing reins to England’s World Cup-winning captain, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik had a point to prove this season, having being ousted from India’s T20 side as well.
He came to bat in the 18th over and played a quickfire cameo of 22 runs from 9 deliveries, milking runs against T Natarajan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, two of the finest death bowlers. In the end, his innings proved to be the difference between the two sides, as KKR won by 10 runs.
Always said that Dinesh Karthik should come as an opener or one down: Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha, who has played with the keeper-batsman during their stint at the Mumbai Indians, opines that Karthik can do wonders for the Knight Riders if he is sent to bat in the top 3, similar to what Suryakumar Yadav has done for Rohit Sharma’s side in the past few seasons, despite Karthik’s well-known capabilities down the order.
The 34-year-old reckons Dinesh Karthik needs a few deliveries to settle himself in before launching an attack, which he would get if he bats higher up the order.
“I believe Dinesh Karthik opening or coming 1 down will do wonders to KKR because he is a guy if he bats long, he is so versatile. He is the pro version of Suryakumar Yadav. That’s what I feel, I have seen right from my childhood.
“That’s the reason I have always said that Dinesh Karthik should always come as an opener or maybe one down. He needs those 7, 8 extra deliveries so that you know he can set himself up,” the former off-spinner told Sports Today.
On Tuesday at the same venue, Eoin Morgan’s side takes on defending champions, Mumbai Indians, who lost their opening game to the Royal Challengers Bangalore.