Gautam Gambhir has lambasted current Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik for his decision making after the franchise’s disappointing 18-run loss to the Delhi Capitals on Saturday (October 3).
Gambhir said Karthik “miscalculated” his choices in the game by not using his best bowlers at the death. While KKR’s star spinner Sunil Narine bowled only two overs, Karthik used the inexperienced Varun Chakravarthy to bowl the crucial penultimate over, which proved to be costly with the DC batsmen picking-up 20 runs from it.
“Your best bowlers need to ball the 18th, 19th and 20th over, unfortunately it didn’t happen. Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine — if a spinner has to bowl. Even Mavi, he did a fabulous job in the previous games and so did Andre Russell. You have to got to give your best bowlers,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo chat show.
As a result Delhi Capitals went on to score a mammoth 228/4 from their 20 overs, the highest score of the tournament so far. Shreyas Iyer led his side from the front with a rapid-fire 88 from just 39 balls.
Chasing the target, KKR fell short by 18 runs – which again highlights how costly the decision to bowl Chakravarthy, ahead of other frontline bowlers, proved to be.
“Yes, Varun Chakravarty did bowl well in the first few overs but you cannot expect a young spinner to be bowling the 19th over and that too in Sharjah, probably it was a miscalculation,” he added.
Gambhir also opined that Karthik should only bat at number 6, behind both Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell. Karthik has looked lackluster with the bat so far in IPL 2020. After scoring 30 in KKR’s first outing against Mumbai Indians, he has scored 0, 1 and 6 in the next three matches respectively.
Karthik’s dismal show with the bat has come at the cost of big-hitters like Morgan and Russell to bat late into the innings. Morgan has been in great form in the tournament and took his side close against the Capitals on Saturday with a stroke-filled innings of 44 from just 18 balls (4×1, 6×5). Gambhir’s opinion thus makes a lot of sense.
Gambhir, the former KKR skipper, had led the side to two title victories in 2012 and 2014. KKR have failed to capture another title in the past five seasons, despite boasting of several match-winners in their ranks.