Sabyasachi Bagchi: Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Vinay Kumar left behind as Dinesh Karthik got the chance to lead the Kolkata Knight Riders team in this season of IPL. This wicket-keeper batsman led his state team Tamil Nadu quite successfully in various formats of the game. Earlier he played for Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab and Gujarat Lions in the IPL. KKR new skipper spoke to www.xtratime.in after the press conference.
XT: What do you feel after being the captain of KKR?
Dinesh: I am happy. It’s the biggest opportunity in my cricketing career so far. I feel proud as KKR team management kept faith on me. Hope I can lead the team in a right way.
XT: Are you feeling the pressure as Gautam Gambhir led team earlier lift up the trophy twice?
Dinesh: Frankly speaking yes, there is a pressure as Gauti (Gambhir) is a good cricketer and he gave two titles to KKR. It’s not easy to perform well like him. I know people will compare me with him if we loss couple of games but, we have to face the challenge to be successful this year.
XT: How you get inspired from Virat Kohli?
Dinesh: off course it does. Virat is completely different man on the field as he is very aggressive but, I don’t show the aggression. From inside I play cricket with a very aggressive state of mind. I don’t have any problem to follow the Virat Model in this edition of IPL.
XT: How skipper DK inspires the team?
Dinesh: As the skipper of Tamil Nadu I use to speak with every individual player before the match and explain to everyone his work and responsibility. If any player does anything wrong, I would have kept my eyes fixed on mistakes. Not only that, I did not say anything to the opponent before the match. It’s a kind of sledding. In this way, Tamil Nadu succeeds in the domestic season. If necessary, I will follow the policy here too.
XT: How look at the KKR team this season?
Dinesh: The team has developed very well in the combination of experience and youth. There are experienced Indian cricketers like Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla along with foreigners like Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Starc, and Mitchell Johnson. There are young talents like Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, who have been associated with Indian U-19 World Cup team. I am looking forward to meeting with everyone. Hopefully, we can take the team forward by maintaining respect for KKR.
XT: You have two pacers played for Indian U-19 team. Do you think they can make any difference at Eden Gardens?
Dinesh: I think they are very good as we seen in the U-19 World Cup. They will get help from the Eden wicket but, my experience says, not just the pace but also slower Yorkers are very effective in this format specially in the death overs. We should know about the negative points of the opponent batsmen. We have Heath Streak and Jacques Kallis as our coach they will help them.
XT: Tell us about the new Eden wicket?
Dinesh: it’s a challenge as captain; Eden’s wicket is no longer the same as before. Pace bowlers now get extra help here. Meanwhile, we have some match-winning spinners in the team like Narine, Kuladip and Chawla. So the selection of the final eleven will be very challenging but the opposition teams will think twice before creating a strategy against us. This is an additional benefit to us.
XT: Say something about the comeback of cricketer Dinesh Karthik?
Dinesh: I made my debut for the country at the age of 19 years; there have been many ups and downs in international cricket. At the age of 32, it is really great to come back in the national team. If the family were not next to me, then I could not see these days of the careers. Now I just want to perform performance.