Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik is really optimistic about batsman Shubman Gill. He feels that the talented Subhman Gill will exceed all expectations in the current IPL edition.
Gill got limited opportunity to showcase his skills in the last edition as his batting position was constantly fiddled. However, this time KKR coach Brendon McCullum has already given the opener’s slot to the 21-year-old. This decision was taken after KKR released Chris Lynn.
“Shubman is a quality player. There is a lot of expectation from him around the world. I’m sure he will exceed all expectations and I’m really confident about that,” Karthik said in a virtual interaction. KKR will open their IPL-13 campaign Wednesday against Mumbai Indians.
In Gill and Sunil Narine, the Kolkata side have got the perfect opening combination, Karthik asserted. “No complicated batting by Sunil Narine makes it easy for us. It’s a very unique opening pair,” Karthik said.
Karthik admitted that he has the ‘problem of plenty’ to pick the XI from a revamped KKR squad.
“One of the tough points for KKR at this point of time is picking the right XI. A lot of guys have put their hands up and are ready for selection. It’s going to be an interesting one and a tough one but that’s a good sign,” Karthik stated.
Last season KKR started off well by winning four of their first five matches. However, they lost six matches on the trot in the business end to miss the qualifiers.
KKR this year has new coaching and support staff led by McCullum. The addition of England’s 2019 World Cup winning skipper Eoin Morgan will certainly boost their batting. Pacer Pat Cummins provides solidity and balance to the side this time.
While Cummins will lead the pace attack, it remains to be seen who will be the Indian pick. Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi are coming back after long injury lay-offs. They also have the talented Prasidh Krishna alongside Sandeep Warrier.
“We are in a good space. One of our strengths is the variety we have in our pace department. All four Indian pacers are shaping up really well. It’s going to be a hard decision to make who’s going to start the tournament,” Karthik informed.
KKR have a lopsided head-to-head record against the four-time defending champions MI. They have lost 18 of the 23 encounters the two sides have played so far.
“It’s good that we are playing them early in the tournament. They are a very solid side, we are aware of that. But it’s a fresh year and two good teams, I’m sure it will be a great game tomorrow,” Karthik pointed out.