Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik feels that questions are bound to be raised against his captaincy after the team suffered its sixth defeat in a row in the IPL but “his job is to lead from the front”. The World Cup-bound Karthik regained his batting form with an unbeaten 97 off 50 balls, helping KKR recover from 49 for 3 to a challenging 176 against Rajasthan Royals in Kolkata on Thursday night. However, the hosts failed to defend the total with teenager Riyan Parag (47) and Jofra Archer (27 not out) scripting a stunning three-wicket win.
“It’s my job to lead from the front. But sometimes the results don’t go your way. So it’s obviously always a tough thing to mend. But the fact is that we try hard as a team and I have belief in my boys that we’ll come stronger,” he said. With another loss, KKR’s hopes of making the playoffs are all but over. “It is very difficult. I am not going to sit here and say ‘it’s okay and stuff’… It’s very disappointing. We tried hard but we were just not able to cross the line.”
Following their nine-wicket defeat to Sunrisers Hyderabad which was their fifth defeat in a row, Karthik was given a “break” as the skipper was not seen with the team on the eve of the match, raising speculation about his captaincy. “Obviously, when the results don’t go your way these questions will be asked, and I understand that. But as a team, we’re trying to do a lot of things right.”
“There’re nothings that we’re not attending to. We’re trying to make the right changes, build the right combination and trying to come in every game believing that we can win. We’re trying to keep everybody in good space and making sure the dressing room is good and they all trust in the leader.”
The spin duo of Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla shared five wickets among them and removed the three key batsmen — Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes. But the pacers let the team down with Parag and Archer sealing the chase with a 44-run stand for the seventh wicket. “I think bowling overall has been found wanting a little bit definitely. I think batting as well… That’s why we are not been able to close games. That’s something we need to look into definitely,” Karthik added.