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IPL 2020: Dinesh Karthik: 'Dispute with Andre Russel has been resolved, love leading KKR'

Dinesh Karthik was appointed as Kolkata Knight Riders captain in 2018

Bengaluru, July 27: Dinesh Karthik said captaining Kolkata Knight Riders is the best thing to have happened to his career. Karthik said the players responded to him well and hoped the team-work will soon translate into results soon in IPL 2020.

Karthik was bought by KKR in the 2018 IPL auctions for a price of Rs 7.4 crore and took over as captain from Gautam Gambhir.

"It's one of the best things to have happened in my cricket career, to be the captain of KKR. I think it came at a time when I felt it was the right time. The first year went great, the second year - when it came to results - it wasn't as good as we wanted because we couldn't qualify (for the playoffs), but overall, the journey has been terrific.

"The boys have responded well to me, and it should translate into results soon," Karthik told sports broadcaster Radhakrishnan Sreenivasan in his YouTube chat show - The RK Show.

Karthik also said he has resolved the dispute with West Indian all-rounder Andre Russel, a key cog in Knight Rider's scheme of things.

In 2019, all-rounder Andre Russell had complained about "bad decisions" made by the team and blamed an unhealthy team atmosphere for their poor results.

"To be fair, he's one of those guys who wears his heart on his sleeve. We had a conversation over it. We discussed it out. He wasn't happy that the team wasn't winning, that is the bottomline. Whatever he said, I completely respected it.

"He was a little apologetic as well. At the end of the day, I have a great relationship with him. If I didn't have a great relationship with him, it could have spiralled into something nasty," the captain said.

Karthik said honesty is the key to his leadership style and he isn't afraid to have tough conversations with his teammates.

"As a leader, I think having different opinions and dealing with it is one of the most important things. You need to be able to stand up and have a conversation, sometimes a hard conversation. Leadership is a lot like friendship as well, at a stage you need to sit down and have a conversation to iron things out so that you can move forward.

"One of the keys to it is honesty, that's what most players require. Sometimes, you have to say the hard things even though players don't like it. But you have to say it in a way that is as positive as possible. I think it's very easy to harm people with words, you need to make sure that you don't hurt the person but you get the message across in the nicest way possible. Sometimes, it's taken well, sometimes it's not. It's impossible to please everybody," Karthik said.

Karthik said KKR is the best managed franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"I think I have come to probably one of the most balanced and loving franchises. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with KKR, easily the best franchise I have played for, in terms of ownership and the way they have taken care of all the players," he said.

In the 12 seasons of Indian Premier League so far, Karthik had played for Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions, before being bought by KKR.

One of the most capped players in the league, the wicketkeeper-batsman has played a total of 182 games, scoring 3654 runs.

Karthik credited the team management for creating a healthy and loving atmosphere that has seen the team thrive and win two IPL titles. He was full of praise for owner Shah Rukh Khan and CEO and Managing Director Venky Mysore.

"Only when you want to come back and play for the franchise that the extra effort that you need to give when push comes to shove will come out. And a lot of it is driven by Shah Rukh Khan and Venky Mysore. When you have wonderful people like that it makes playing the sport easy," said Karthik.

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Story first published: Monday, July 27, 2020, 14:01 [IST]
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