IPL 2018: Dinesh Karthik on Saturday said he will use the experience of his freak unbeaten eight-ball 29 and manner in which he went about proceedings in such a pressure situation in the tri-series final against Bangladesh to lead Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this edition of Indian Premier League (IPL). “I think as a captain I will be looking to stay as calm as I can. Lot of times I am sure I will be put under the pump and I have to be able to react in a calm manner without getting too emotional about it,” Karthik told reporters on the eve of KKR’s opening game against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.
“That game is a good takeaway for me from that game. It gives me a lot of confidence in my batting skills. It’s important that I keep using that as an experience where I can propel to do better things in the future.” Karthik walked in with India needing 34 off 12, after a wicket maiden from Mustafizur Rahman. Bangladesh were firm favourites but Karthik needed only eight deliveries to dash their hopes as he sealed a four-wicket win with a last ball six in the final of the tri-series in Sri Lanka.
KKR will miss the services of Australian pace spearhead Mitchell Starc who has been ruled out of the season with an with injured right shin. England all-rounder Tom Curran has been roped in as Starc’s replacement. “He (starc) is probably one of the best bowlers in the world and T20 cricket,” Karthik said when asked if Curran is a like for like replacement for the 28-year-old who missed Australia’s fourth South Africa due to the injury. “So there cannot be a like for like replacement for him. Tom Curran is an able prospect and he is an phenomenally well for England and we are excited to have him in the squad,” the newly-appointed skipper added.
Karthik was asked how he will handle pressure of expectations, especially with his predecessor Gautam Gambhir being so successful. “It’s a fresh start for all of us. We have a new set of players here so pressure will always be there in IPL, there is no running away from it. You have to embrace it and enjoy it. that’s what I am looking to do,” Karthik said. Quizzed about any plans to get his national team captain Kohli out early, Karthik said, “He is a good player. We will try our best to get him out and like any other player he is a match winner. As a unit we will be trying to remove him as early as we can.”