Dinesh Karthik    AFP
Dinesh Karthik AFP

After analysing Ravichandran Ashwin’s captaincy, earlier in the day, cricket pundits turned their heads towards Dinesh Karthik when Kolkata took on Bangalore at home. He was filling in for Gautam Gambhir, who took the franchise to two titles, and had lots riding on him being in the form of his life. Karthik backed his bowlers, and shuffled them smartly (specially with that Nitish Rana over), and batted with purpose to ensure a winning start in Indian T20 League 2018 on Sunday. In the post-match conference, he revealed the reasons for his bowling changes, and what the dressing room were wishing for during the chase.

“We just prayed to God that he [Narine] gets going”, laughed off Karthik as the left-hander’s 19-ball 50 ensured a healthy start in pursuit of 177.

When Harsha Bhogle asked Karthik if it was a genuine effort to start with spinners due to Brendon McCullum’s presence, Karthik was quick to point out, “I felt it was coming too well against the pacers.” Seeing that, he wanted to make it difficult with wrist spinners.

Karthik concluded by saying, “Feels very good. Nice to get to a good start. We all play for the crowd and we love to play for this team and this fantastic crowd.”