Dinesh Karthik is back with KKR after a successful stint as a commentator in the UK. Training with the rest of KKR players in the UAE on Monday, Karthik looked in great touch as assistant coach Abhishek Nayar was spotted bowling to him at the nets.
The 2020 edition of IPL saw KKR moving really close to qualifying for the knockout stage. Having finished 5th owing to a not-so-healthy Net Run Rate last year, KKR will want to have a change of fortune this time around in the UAE.
"Last year when we were in UAE, we missed it (qualifying for playoffs) by a whisker. We won as many matches as the last team had won but still just missed it by a whisker. Two years on the trot, we have been fifth on the table. That's something that still gnaws at me," Karthik said.
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Talking about KKR's chances to seal a place in the knockouts this season, Karthik said, "Overall as a team, I think we are in a decent space. We need to gel together as a group and make a difference this time. We want to win 6 out of 7 matches (to qualify). It's as simple as that. As a team that's what we'll be looking to do. Take one game at a time but try and win 6 out of 7 matches."
Even though KKR haven't had a great run in the first phase of IPL 2021, having won just two out of 7 matches, Karthik insisted that the team would focus on the positives and cotinue to play aggressive cricket.
"KKR is known to play very positive and aggressive cricket. I want that to come through in the second half. I still think the team spirit is good. We're positive and we've a coach who's always infusing positivity into us," he said, before making a plea to all the KKR fans, "As fans, all I want to say is keep supporting us. We'll try and play a brand of cricket that'll make you proud. It did put a smile on your face at various points during the last two IPLs. We'll try and put a bigger smile this time around."