IPL 2021: Should KKR be worried of Dinesh Karthik’s current form in Vijay Hazare Trophy?

IPL 2021 – Dinesh Karthik Form Big Worry for KKR – Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has gone out of the way to back and retain their former captain Dinesh Karthik. But Karthik’s current form in Vijay Hazare will surely be concern for them. Ahead of the IPL 2021, Karthik’s form is raising concerns for KKR. The 35-year-old has failed to do well in group-stage matches of the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021.

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Even though Tamil Nadu has fared well under his leadership, Karthik’s individual performance has been disastrous. The wicket-keeper batsman has so far managed just 83 runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021. His scorecards read 19, 7, 37, 1 and 19 in his last five innings. This is not the first time, Karthik is struggling to perform with the bat.

Dinesh Karthik in IPL 2020

Dinesh Karthik could only manage 169 runs in 14 matches of IPL 2020 at an average of 14.08. It also included three ducks and many single-digit scores– 0, 1, 6, 1, 4, 3, 0, 4, 0.  His only fifty came against Punjab Kings. The performance impacted KKR as they were couldn’t qualify for the playoffs.

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Karthik had also left his KKR’s captaincy mid-season to focus on his batting but continued to struggle. He was brutally trolled on social media for his poor run in the cash-rich league. Cricket pundits had questioned his match-winning abilities.

Karthik in IPL 2019

Besides this, Karthik’s numbers were also unimpressive in IPL 2019. The right-handed batsman scored 253 runs in 14 matches at an average of 31.62. But, that too included just one big knock of unbeaten 97 runs.

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Overall, Karthik has amassed over 3,800 runs in 13 editions of IPL at an average of 26.

Why Karthik’s form is crucial for KKR?

Dinesh Karthik is one of the senior members of the KKR Team. He plays in the middle-order with youngster Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi. Like Karthik, Rana and Tripathi also struggled with the bat for KKR. In such circumstance, Karthik needs to lead by example for the youngsters. He is someone who needs to finish matches for the KKR, something which he has failed to do over the last two seasons.

Meanwhile, Andre Russell who is known for his finishing duties at KKR is recovering after contracting COVID-19. It’s unsure if the injury-ridden all-rounder will be able to play all the 14 group stage matches. In such a scenario, Karthik needs to step up his game if KKR are aiming to end their title drought over the last five IPL seasons.

KKR Full Squad: Eoin Morgan, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Rinku Singh, Rahul Tripathi, Tim Seifert, Shubman Gill, Pawan Negi, Venkatesh Iyer, Ben Cutting, Harbhajan Singh, Karun Nair, Vaibhav Arora, Sheldon Jackson, Shakib Al Hasan.