Dinesh Karthik, and the art of leading by example
He’s yet to score a single half-century in the VIVO IPL 2018, but yet, he has been as effective as any other batsmen in our ranks. In less than a month’s time, he’ll turn 33, but he's still as fit as ever! Kolkata Knight Riders skipper, Dinesh Karthik has so far been a calm character while being the busiest guy on the field. Still, he finds a way to inspire the rest of the dug-out with that broad smile!
Striking the right balance in the batting order, here are a few things that makes DK a stand-out performer in this edition of IPL:
9 matches, 280 runs at an average of 46.66 and scoring at a healthy strike-rate of 148.93. Dinesh Karthik is the leading run scorer for KKR with these numbers. He had a slow start in the first-three matches against RCB (scored 35* off 29 balls), CSK (scored 26 off 29 balls ) and SRH (scored 29 off 27 balls).
He soon changed gears in the following three matches and scored 19 off 10 balls (vs DD), 42* off 23 balls (vs RR) and 43 off 28 balls (vs KXIP). A rare failure with the bat against DD at Kotla was an eye-opener for the entire team. Our skipper led the side with an example and played two quickfire knocks in the following two matches (23 off 10 balls vs RCB in Bengaluru & 45* off just 18 balls against CSK at Eden Gardens).
You don’t win matches by one individual effort. CSK vs KKR at Chepauk was one such example. You might win a match or two, but not the entire thing. To win a tournament every single player from the playing eleven has to chip-in, in one way or the other. DK understands this theory the best and his short-stay while scoring runs range between 20-40s have been match-winning knocks on number of occasions.
After two losses in a row to KXIP at Eden Gardens and DD at Kotla, he changed his own batting position for the first time in this season of VIVO IPL and brought himself down at number 6 against RCB and CSK in the last two matches. Those two knocks were indeed decisive ones for KKR.
Win or lose doesn’t matter unless you repeat your success and learn from your failures. Well, our skipper ticks both the boxes. So far, he has led our side to keep a clean record against RCB and didn’t repeat the bowling failures against CSK in our last match. It was a surprise for many, when he opted to use the spinners in over numbers 18,19 & 20 or even showing faith in young Shivam Mavi when he went for runs against DD. These moves certainly showed the bold character and we can expect a few more as the tournament inches closer to the playoffs.
Learnings from DK
Not always you need big names in your side to make a difference.
3 to 4 quick-fire knocks of 30-40 runs is better than one 80-100 runs in an innings.
Trust your strength (vs CSK at Eden Gardens, KKR used spinners in 3 overs of powerplay, and finished with 3 over of spin-bowling in the innings 18th, 19th and 20th over).