The Kolkata Knight Riders franchise is one of the most successful franchises in the Indian Premier League (IPL), both on and off the field. Owned by Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla, the franchise has won the IPL title twice in 2012 and 2014 and there was one thing common in both those wins. They both were achieved in the leadership of Gautam Gambhir.
The KKR management had broken the bank so to speak in IPL 2011 auction going for Gambhir and he turned the fortunes of the team, winning the tournament twice and leading them well until parting ways in IPL 2019. The franchise then bought Dinesh Karthik and made him captain of the team and made it into the playoffs of the tournament.
Gautam Gambhir lauds Shubman Gill
However, the IPL 2019 saw the team falter and ending up on the fifth place in points table leading to much criticism of Karthik’s captaincy style and failure of experienced players during the season. This has led to calls from fans to change the captain in the upcoming season and this was backed by Gambhir, who felt a change was needed at the top and fresh ideas should be brought in.
The former skipper mentioned the name of Shubman Gill as a potential leader, given his successful exploits for the team in the past two seasons.
“For me, there are not many captaincy options in this team. I will go with Shubman Gill. I will go with a youngster. Dinesh Karthik will have the baggage of two years. He did not perform as per expectations. Go with Shubman Gill, a new young face. He might give new thinking and results,” Gautam Gambhir was quoted as saying during the Game Plan show on Star Sports.
Karthik was a surprise pick as the captain as many thought Robin Uthappa would lead given his experience as deputy of Gambhir for years. But the management has retained Karthik and this has hinted they might want to give him another chance given his success with Tamil Nadu team in white-ball domestic tournaments.
Gill was bought for INR 1.8 crore and in 27 matches, has scored 499 runs at an average 33.26. Meanwhile, it seems the coaching and management want Karthik to continue at the helm with the new coaching staff of Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, and David Hussey coming in for the first time.
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