Kolkata Kinght Riders have bitten the bullet after a string of losses. The franchise has asked out-of-form captain Dinesh Karthik, senior batsman Robin Uthappa and three other members to take a break and freshen up. As per reports, they will rejoin the squad before the match against Rajasthan Royals.
ESPNCricinfo reports that the five cricketers given a break are captain Dinesh Karthik, batsman Robin Uthappa, wicket-keeper Nikhil Naik and pacers Shrikant Munde and Prithvi Raj Yarra. This is done so that they could clear their heads before the clash against Rajasthan Royals.
KKR have lost 5 successive matches
KKR suffered a huge slump this season, losing five straight games this season to languish at the number six position on the points table. Karthik and Uthappa, seen as the lynchpins of the batting attack -- have struggled to get going this season. Skipper Karthik has a tally of 117 runs after ten matches with only one fifty. Uthappa, on the other hand, has scored 220 runs in nine matches at a strike rate of 119.56.
Also, Karthik's captaincy and tactics have come under the scanner and have drawn flak from pundits and commentators. He has looked clueless at times, especially when his young bowlers have been put under the pump. So, will KKR sack their skipper midway through the season?
As per head coach Jacques Kallis, this issue has not been discussed and they are willing to give the wicket-keeper batsman more time to get the campaign back on track. "No. We haven't discussed it, nor it been brought up. So now there's been no talk about that," Kallis said, when asked about a possibility of a shake-up.
"Hopefully, he [Karthik] can get in and get us some big runs. That will certainly mean a lot to the team and as much as he wants to do it," the coach further added.
Rajasthan Royals have already removed Ajinkya Rahane from captaincy and have given the charge of the side to Steve Smith.
There is little doubt that there is unease in the camp after team co-owner Shah Rukh Khan posted emotional tweets following the loss, but the coach is keeping his faith in his wards and backs them to bounce back from the rubble.
"We all want to perform a little bit better. Yeah, I think everyone's in that space where we just want to get up and play better cricket and get back on winning ways. Losing certainly isn't fun," he said.