Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that Dinesh Karthik was sacked as captain by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), although the official statement said that the wicket-keeper had stepped down.
He made this observation while reviewing the Eoin Morgan-led team’s defeat against the Mumbai Indians (MI) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra started by pointing out that as per his understanding, Dinesh Karthik was stripped of captaincy although the official communication might have said otherwise.
“KKR sacked their captain mid-season, although not sacked as per the official communication which always says that the player himself is saying that he does not want to captain.”
The reputed commentator reasoned that no player would leave his team in the middle of the campaign.
“We can all take this at face value but no player leaves the team halfway, that is what I feel. I have not spoken to Karthik but the news that has come is that he has said that he doesn’t want to captain.”
Aakash Chopra highlighted that KKR were doing quite well in the tournament and were in a good position to qualify for the playoffs.
“Although to be honest, the team’s performance had been good. They had won four out of their seven matches and they had to win only four of their remaining seven before this match to qualify.”
He added that Dinesh Karthik had done reasonably well with the bat as well, with the Tamil Nadu man having scored a match-winning quickfire half-century against the Kings XI Punjab.
“And then in the batting as well Karthik had played one good knock where he had scored a half-century against KXIP and that too at a very good pace. Then why did he leave the captaincy, I don’t know.”
The former KKR player observed that if the franchise wanted to hand over the reins to Eoin Morgan, it should have been done before the start of the season.
“I am personally not on the same page. I feel if KKR had to give the captaincy to Eoin Morgan, it should have been done right at the beginning. If you do it at the midway, things go bad, that is my personal opinion.”
Aakash Chopra on KKR’s performance in the match against MI
While talking about the match, Aakash Chopra pointed out that KKR were never allowed to get away with the bat, initially by the Mumbai Indians seam bowlers and then by Rahul Chahar.
“KKR won the toss and elected to bat first which was the correct decision. But Mumbai Indians kept them on a tight leash, first by the fast bowlers and then two wickets by Rahul Chahar of consecutive deliveries.”
The 43-year-old highlighted that Andre Russell has been found wanting with the bat in IPL 2020 thus far, with Jasprit Bumrah having got the better of him in both the matches KKR have played against MI.
“KKR was trying, Russell comes and tries but this year his bat has not fired at all. Bumrah dismissed him and Bumrah has got him out both the times in the two matches. Once he hit his wickets and now with the bouncer.”
He added that although Pat Cummins and Morgan took KKR to a score around the 150-run mark, it was never going to be enough considering the batting might of the Mumbai Indians.
“Morgan was standing in the middle but the bat was not striking the ball well. Pat Cummins came and showed that the pitch was not that difficult as he batted very well. With him scoring a fifty and Morgan hitting at the end, KKR reached near 150 but not beyond that.”
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that it was a walk in the park for the Mumbai Indians in the end as they completely outplayed the Kolkata Knight Riders.
“And then Mumbai Indians taught everyone how to chase a target. If you are the boss you want to show how the boss is actually. There was no competition at all, it was a one-sided contest.”
KKR put up a below-par score of 148/5 in their allotted 20 overs after having lost their first five wickets with just 61 runs on the board. Quinton de Kock and the rest of the Mumbai Indians batsmen never allowed the KKR bowlers to apply any pressure on them. They chased down the target with 8 wickets in hand and more than three overs to spare.