Gautam Gambhir, Former India opener and Kolkata Knight Riders’ captain, who was present in a recent talk on Star Sports’ Game Plan: VIVO IPL auction, has advocated for a change in the captaincy of KKR in the upcoming IPL. Surprisingly, he has suggested Shubman Gill’s name for the top job.
He said, “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, who helped KKR beg two titles in his 7 Years of captaincy regime, was instrumental in making KKR a champion team. He was known as bowler’s captain for smartly using them.
KKR, however, released Gautam ahead of the mega auction in 2018, and appointed Tamil Nadu wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik their new captain. The franchise bought him for whopping 7.4 crore and handed him captaincy, when all the world was expecting Robin Uthappa to become captain. Uthappa was made his deputy then. Under Karthik’s captaincy, KKR made it to the playoffs in IPL 2018 but failed to qualify for the second round in IPL 2019. In the last two seasons, KKR won 15 matches and lost 14 matches in 30 matches.
Gambhir’s choice might surprise everyone now but going forward, Gill can be expected to take over as KKR’s captain. He was also the vice-captain of India U-19 team that won the tournament in 2018 and has also led his state team, Punjab. The right handed batting prodigy also captained India C in the Deodhar Trophy. Gill was also bought by the franchise for R 1.8 Crore. His performance in the IPL has been satisfactory so far as he has scored 499 runs in 27 matches so far averaging 33.26.
KKR has released a no of players from their squad before going into auction. Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa and many others. However, they retained Karthik, giving clear indication that they are in no hurry to change the captaincy yet. KKR have appointed new coaching staff for their next season, with Brandon McCullum taking the role of head coach and Kyle Mills and David Hussey as his assistants in bowling and batting department respectively.