The 2019 edition of Indian Premier League saw things getting a bit heated at the Kolkata Knight Riders camp after an in-form Andre Russell, during a press conference, questioned the decision-making of the team to send him lower down the batting order. In an interview on the RK Show couple of months ago, Karthik had opened up on the incident, that he looked at the incident constructively, and discussed things out with Russell after the episode and the two fixed things between themselves.
But even though the episode seems like an incident of the past, former KKR spinner Brad Hogg opined that the tensions between the two players is one major flaw in the KKR team going into this year’s IPL which kicks off from September 19th in the UAE.
IPL 2020 : KKR’s biggest flaw, ‘relationship between Karthik & Russell”
Speaking in the latest episode of ‘Hogg’s Vlog’ on his official Youtube channel, Hogg said: “What is the one flaw in this team? There is only one – the relationship between Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik. We can’t have Andre Russell come out in the media after the game and say we didn’t make the right decisions. That’s got to be done behind closed doors.”
Hogg added that head coach Brendon McCullum has to ensure that the tensions between the two players do not escalate any further. “Brendon McCullum has to make sure he rectifies that relationship, gets on top of it early, because, if there is a little bit of disharmony in this line-up, it can have a ripple effect in a bio-secure environment, and things can get out of hand very quickly,” Hogg said.
Hogg further said that KKR team has specialist players in every department which can help them in the tournament this year. “What is the edge for Kolkata Knight Riders? They have got specialists players in each role. They have got good fast bowlers, quality spinners and a variety of batsmen who can do different roles. They have also got Sunil Narine in there. Yes, we know he can bowl a little bit of off-spin, but it’s his batting, versitality, that adds potency in this line-up.
“Because, he can open the batting, bat in the middle overs, also play some big shots at the end to finish off the innings. Also, they have got Andre Russell, who can bowl a little bit of medium pace. But that batting at the end is pure firepower. There is no boundary too big for him,” he said.
“The standout player of the team is going to be Tom Banton from England. He is going to lead the way, he is going to be the leading run-scorer for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He is going to be the top three best batsmen in the IPL this year.
“I think, Kolkata Knight Riders will finish third. They may take out the IPL title during the final series,” Hogg signed off.