Kolkata Knight Riders will have plenty of support for their captain Dinesh Karthik as far as leadership department goes with the addition of the likes of Eoin Morgan and Pat Cummins to their squad for the upcoming season of IPL.

KKR coach Brendon McCullum also has plans to give talented youngster Shubman Gill some leadership role.

The former two-time IPL winners failed to make the playoffs last season after finishing fifth in the points tally and will be looking for improvement having added Cummins, Morgan, Tom Banton, Chris Green among others to their star-studded squad.

McCullum has identified the 20-year-old Gill as someone who can provide inputs in the leadership role.

“What a talent…he (Gill) is going to be a part of our leadership group this year as well, at least in some capacity. Even though he is young, I am a big believer that it’s not necessarily true that you having played for a long time makes you a good leader,” McCullum said of Gill in an interview on KKR’s official website.

He continued, “It’s about you exhibiting the behaviours of a leader. It’s always good to have a cross-section of leadership within your group. To us, Shubman is one of those guys we would look to lean on for some leadership throughout this season.”

For skipper Karthik there will be plenty of experienced shoulders to lean on and get the best out of his players.

“I think there’ll be a nice layer of leadership around DK where he’s able to really prosper and touch all of the members of the Kolkata line up to try and get the very best out of themselves. I love DK as a person. He’s quite intense at times which I love, we just need to provide him with some support. His passion for the game and his love of people is just infectious,” McCullum said.

England’s world cup winning captain Morgan will be Karthik’s deputy.

“I think he’s (Morgan) the perfect foil for DK as a vice captain. It’s a match made in heaven in regards to an IPL franchise. You’ve got that overseas experience and leadership and you’ve got the local leader. I think it’s a really nice mix,” McCullum said.

“Some years back (2012), we played with each other at KKR and that relationship and that friendship really took off right from the word go. We like the same sorts of things – we enjoy playing golf, we enjoy horse racing…,” he added.

The former New Zealand captain also reckons that Karthik is maturing as a captain and ready to ownership of the team. “The team hasn’t quite got over the line, but I think DK is in that stage in his leadership where he’s almost ready to really mature and to really take ownership of the Knight Riders set up and back his judgement,” he said.

He also praised Karthik the wicketkeeper who he says is a big star within the KKR setup.

“You’ve got to break DK down a little bit into different parts to understand this. I think first and foremost, wicketkeeping. He’s up there with the very best wicketkeepers in India,” McCullums said.

“He’s as good and as adaptable in any role. He doesn’t come with perhaps, the stardom that some guys do and that’s just DK’s personality. But he’s a big star within the KKR franchise, he’s now been at the helm for a couple of years and he’s had some success,” he added.