Mumbai, March 4: Moments after being appointed captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season, wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said he would like to emulate current India skipper Virat Kohli and lead from the front.
“Virat is a captain who leads by his action. He is somebody who shows with his performance and that is something that I can try and emulate — lead by example rather than speaking, go on the ground and show with the scores or the way I play etc,” Karthik told reporters here on Sunday.
Robin Uthappa was named vice-captain of the two-time champions.
Kohli is known to wear his heart on his sleeve and Karthik said though he does not look aggressive, his approach has always been to take the game by the scruff of the neck.
“In terms of being an aggressive captain, I am not aggressive outwardly by nature, but that does not mean I am not aggressive inside.
“While playing a game, I am one of those guys who don’t even speak to the opponents, before the game or in the lead up to the game, these are some of the qualities which I have and these are the ways I show aggression.”
Karthik, who is part of the India squad for the triangular T20 series in Sri Lanka, added, “When the situation is tough be there and do the best.
“I look eye to eye, and do small things that matter, I may not show it from body language, but I know deep down I am thoroughly aggressive in the way I play cricket and I would like to take that forward.”
KKR have three wrist spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla and West Indian Sunil Narine. Karthik said that would act to their advantage and the other teams would be on their toes.
“In terms of wrist spinners, Piyush (Chawla) has 10 years of experience in playing the IPL and in terms of the number of wickets taken by an IPL bowler, he is in the top five. Kuldeep (Yadav) of late, the performances he is producing for Indian team, so that augurs well for the team.
“The flavour of the season is wrist spin because it is hard to pick them and they have the ability to pick wickets, it is good that we have those three bowlers. Most teams would be jealous that we have three wrist spinners.”
On having U-19 World Cup winning pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, Karthik said his advice to the youngsters would be to focus on variation in a tournament like the IPL and not only pace.
“Definitely not just concentrate on pace, that’s just one aspect of fast bowling. At this stage in a situation like IPL you need variations and you need to be thinking ahead of the batsmen.
“We had Heath Streak as bowling coach and he was very efficient and I know he has the potential to help these youngsters and they have a lot to learn from him as a bowling coach and they are in safe hands, and with somebody like Jacques Kallis, who is an all-rounder, he would be giving the right advice as well.”
Karthik said he was looking forward to leading a side having a combination of youth and experience.
“We have a very balanced side and that is a great place to start from. And in terms of building the team, its a journey. We know that we are going to have this team for three years, so the important thing is to get the best out of the players and then keep moving forward.
“The first thing would be to connect all the boys together. One of the most important things is to get the whole group together and get the bonding going straightaway.
“It’s always difficult in an IPL sort of environment because there is not much time. It is always a challenge and we are trying to address that.”
Present on the occasion was KKR CEO Venky Mysore.
“It is indeed a start of a new phase for KKR, and we are delighted that someone as experienced as Dinesh Karthik will lead the side.” Mysore said.
“Robin has been an integral part of KKR since 2014 and played a crucial role in KKR winning the championship. We are fortunate to have both Dinesh & Robin in leadership roles for KKR.”