Need to improve our bowling, fielding: Dinesh Karthik
Kuldeep Yadav’s poor form prompted Kolkata Knight Riders to drop him from the playing XI against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Sunday, barely six weeks before the World Cup.
The wrist spinner is expected to play a big role in India’s campaign in the quadrennial showpiece but has only got four wickets in nine IPL games at an economy rate of 8.66.
The Knight Riders decided to drop him in their 10th game even though his replacement, KC Cariappa, fared worse, giving away 34 runs in two overs.
Asked about Kuldeep’s absence from the playing XI, Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik made it clear that he was dropped owing to poor form.
“A form issue with (Kuldeep)… as he couldn’t stand up for us in the last game. We had to give him a break and get him back fresh.”
However, despite his poor form, the other spinners went for plenty and gave away a total of 106 runs in nine overs.
“Our bowling has been off colour in the tournament. Our fielding needs a lot of improvement too,” said Karthik, who is also under the scanner due to his poor form.
“I think 160 was a par score on this wicket if we’d bowled well. I think they (Warner and Bairstow) batted really well but our fielding cost us... And after that dropped catch (off Yarra Prithviraj), he (Bairstow) came at us all guns blazing. A wicket of Bairstow would have felt better, feel for the guy (Prithviraj). We have been outplayed in this game,” Karthik admitted.
Karthik said it was unfair to say that the Knight Riders are over-dependent on Andre Russell after his side lost their fifth straight game.
“I think that’s unfair to say,” Karthik said. “Today I think 160 was par if we’d bowled well. Even though Andre only got 15 runs today, the rest of them batted really well and brought us to a score that was defendable. But the fact that we didn’t bowl as well, and the wicket got better under lights, and two good players came out all guns blazing made things look very easy.”
Karthik said Russell has made no complaints about his batting position despite commenting that he would have liked to bat up the order after their loss to RCB.
“He had about five overs to face. When he came in, there were 27 balls and we’re looking to play him at a kind of slot where…
“I think he’s the kind of player even if he had played 10 balls, he’d have made an impact. The key is that we play that well at the top of the order that we set it up for him. There’s been no complaints from his side about the batting part of it. I think he’s been happy with the place where he’s going and he has a clear role in the team which he’s trying to achieve every time he goes out to bat.”
Man of the Match Khaleel Ahmed was satisfied with his performance.
“Quite a good feeling. The wicket was a little bit slow. After a while, I understood how the wicket was behaving. Warner and Bairstow played exceptionally well,” he said.
The seamer dedicated the award to his mother. “My mom used to tell me win a Man of the Match award and I dedicate this award to her. I have been working on my fitness and trying to get stronger.”
Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson didn’t think the pitch changed much in the second session. “I don’t think it changed a huge amount. It slowed down a bit. It was a complete performance. ”