Dinesh Karthik heaped praise on star batsman Shubman Gill as Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) rode on the opener’s unbeaten fifty to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by seven wickets in an IPL match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Chasing a modest total of 143 runs to win, Gill played a matured knock as he scored an unbeaten 70 off 62 deliveries and helped Kolkata overhaul the target with two overs to spare.
“I want Gill to enjoy his journey in cricket,” a pleased Karthik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Kolkata fielded a young side that comprised the likes of Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy including Gill in the side and the youngsters didn’t disappoint.
Speaking about the young players, Karthik said, “The fact that we have been able to groom the youngsters is pleasing. It has been an emotional journey for us with Nagarkoti for the last couple of years. But credit to the management to have stuck to him. It feels good to see the youngsters doing well.”
Player of the match, Gill said that it was his responsibility to see the team through.
“As an opener it is my duty to see my team through. I think it was important for us to win. We bowled really and we had to back it up with a good performance,” he said.
– Morgan praises Gill –
After the fall of Karthik, England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan joined Gill and the duo stitched a match-winning unbeaten 92-run stand for the third wicket to see Kolkata home.
Eoin Morgan celebrates with Shubman Gill after the duo guided Kolkata to a seven-wicket win over Hyderabad.
Speaking on his partnership with Gill, the 2019 World Cup-winning skipper said, ” I didn’t have to tell him a great deal to be honest, he’s beautiful to watch on the eye, good bat swing, very languid style, magnificent to watch, he is a good kid, very hungry to learn and I would love to bat with him once again. I think he deserves all the success.”
Losing captain David Warner defended his decision to bat first and said that the batsmen need to improve on the boundary count.
“I think I got my decision right. 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,” Warner said.
Hyderabad squandered away a decent start and the fall of Warner tilted the momentum in Kolkata’s favour. Although Manish Pandey hit a half-century, the batters failed to power the side to a competitive total.
“We need to push as hard as we can. You can see from our running between the wickets, we do 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,” the Hyderabad skipper said.