Venky Mysore, KKR CEO with KKR new captain Dinesh Karthik    KKR team
Venky Mysore, KKR CEO with KKR new captain Dinesh Karthik KKR team

Dinesh Karthik has been named Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper for IPL 2018, while Robin Uthappa has been appointed his deputy. Ever since KKR didn’t retain skipper Gautam Gambhir during the IPL 2018 auction, speculations were rife on who would succeed him in the coveted job. There was no inkling regarding who would take up the top job. With a few options Uthappa, Karthik and Chris Lynn (and perhaps Vinay Kumar) available, KKR have finally went ahead with Karthik. Karthik has been associated with IPL since the inception of the tournament. He started off his IPL journey with Delhi Daredevils (DD) for whom he played until 2010. Before he went back to DD in 2014, Karthik played for two franchises – Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). He had the most successful season in 2013 for MI, scoring 510 at 28.33 with strike rate of 124.08.

Karthik also played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2015 and Gujarat Lions (GL) in 2016 and 2017. Karthik was bought by KKR for INR 7.6 crores in the IPL 2018 auctions in January. Karthik has also captained DD in 2010 and 2014. Under his captaincy, DD have won 2 and lost 4 from 6 matches.

Karthik has captained his state, Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. In the 2008-09 season, Karthik made over 1,000 First-Class runs, with five centuries including a 213 as a captain. That season Tamil Nadu reached the semi-finals. He led Tamil Nadu to a title triumph in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in 2009-10. He was also the captain of the India Red side that won the Duleep Trophy last year. Karthik also captains Tuti Patriots in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). Under his captaincy, Tuti Patriots had won TNPL in the inaugural edition.

Karthik who has played 152 games since the inception of IPL, said: It is an honour to represent Kolkata Knight Riders, one of the most successful franchises in the VIVO IPL and I look forward to this new challenge. I am excited about the squad that has been assembled, which has a great combination of experience and youth. I will do my best to represent brand KKR and the millions of KKR fans.

Announcing this appointment, Venky Mysore, KKR CEO said, It is indeed a start of a new phase for KKR, and we are delighted that someone as experienced as Dinesh Karthik will lead the side.

Mysore also announced the appointment of Robin Uthappa as vice-captain. He said Robin has been an integral part of KKR since 2014 and played a crucial role in KKR winning the championship. We are fortunate to have both Dinesh and Robin in leadership roles for KKR.

KKR will open their campaign against RCB on April 8 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

KKR squad: Dinesh Karthik (wk & c), Robin Uthappa (vc), Chris Lynn, Cameron Delport, Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Apoorv Wankhade, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Javon Searles, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Vinay Kumar, Sunil Narine, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi.