Dinesh Karthik has played for four IPL teams -- Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore – in the past, and he will play for a fifth team -- Gujarat Lions -- in the ninth edition of the IPL, starting Saturday. The wicketkeeper-batsman is excited to play for the Lions and the team will depend on his batting skills in IPL 2016.
The Lions are set to be captained by Suresh Raina, while former Australian cricketer Brad Hodge will be the coach of the team, which includes some star players like Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja and Brendon McCullum. They seem to have a good squad and the ammunition required to shine in their debut season.
"I am very happy and excited with the new team as most of things are new like coach, teammates and ground," Press Trust of India quoted Karthik as saying.
Karthik has plenty of experience of playing in the IPL, scoring 2207 runs in the competition so far. With such runscoring ability, Lions will be looking forward to some crucial runs with his willow. Karthik is one of the most innovative batsmen in India cricket, as has been witnessed in the past editions of the IPL, playing those cheeky shots over the wicketkeeper's head or those reverse sweeps, with good effect.
However, the right-hander believes such innovitaive shots are not going to be enough, with pure cricketing strokes proving to be most effective in T20 cricket. Karthik also highlighted Virat Kohli's recent performances in shortest format of the game, where he has been brilliant, scoring runs with ridiculous ease, all around the wicket, playing 'good cricket shots'.
"In modern cricket, many batsmen play innovative strokes which I think are not enough to score runs in T20 format," Karthik said.
"T20 format is not all about playing innovative shots, as batsman like Virat Kohli have been scoring lot of runs by playing only cricketing shots. In this format, the batsmen should stay calm and execute his shots selection properly to score runs."
Lions will be looking to get off to the perfect start in IPL 2016 when they face Kings XI Punjab, April 11.