I want Gill to enjoy his cricket journey: Karthik - GulfToday

I want Gill to enjoy his cricket journey: Karthik

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders’ Shubman Gill plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad during their Indian Premier League match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Courtesy: IPL website

Abu Dhabi: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Dinesh Karthik said that he wants Shubman Gill to enjoy his cricket journey, after the youngster’s 70 not out guided the team to a comprehensive seven-wicket win against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Saturday.

“It feels good to see the youngsters doing well. I want Gill to enjoy his journey in cricket,” said Karthik in the post-match presentation ceremony. Kamlesh Nagarkoti, 20, who missed the previous two seasons due to injuries, also finally made his debut for KKR. Karthik said he was emotional for Nagarkoti and is happy that the franchise decided to stick with him.

“The fact that we’ve been able to groom youngsters, we’ve stayed with them. I was a bit emotional for Kamlesh. We stuck with him and people ask where he is. It feels good as a captain,” he said.

Gill was player of the match for his batting performance. “I’ve practiced power hitting a lot in the past couple of years. I think it was really important for our team to get this win. We bowled really well, it had to be backed by our batting performance,” he said.

Gill’s unbeaten 92-run stand with England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan helped KKR survive a short scare while they chased down SRH’s meager total of 142/4. KKR ended up reaching 145/3 in 18 overs. “[Morgan] was batting so well. There weren’t any long conversations. As an opener it is my job to see the team through,” he said.

We need to improve our boundary percentage: Warner: Meanwhile, Hyderabad captain David Warner said that the team needs to increase the frequency of their boundaries and sixes after they sunk to a seven-wicket loss to KKR. SRH have thus started their 2020 campaign in the IPL with consecutive defeats.

“We have to try and go harder at the top. Can’t help if the bowlers are bowling good lines and lengths, we need to push as hard as we can,” said Warner on Star Sports after the match.

“You can see from our running between the wickets, we do that but we got to improve our boundary percentage. I saw, I think 35 dot balls, which not acceptable in T20 cricket on a wicket that was actually nice to bat on. We just mis-executed in the middle.”

Warner had chosen to bat first after winning the toss, the first captain to do so this year. SRH only managed to score 142 runs despite losing only four wickets in 20 overs but Warner said that he sticks by his decision at the toss.

“For us, our strength is death bowling. I thought it was actually a difficult wicket to accelerate on. The Kolkata boys showed us that if you can keep wickets at the end, that’s what wins you games. I don’t regret what I did at the beginning of the game and I stick by my decision,” he said.

“Pat Cummins, as he does, (bowled) Test match line and length. There was a little bit of movement here and there. All in all, it got harder through the middle. We went four or five overs for 20 and coming back with three wickets in hand at the end probably killed us a little bit there. An extra 30 or 40 runs would have been great,” said Warner.

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