Dinesh Karthik has been appointed as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for the 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 7 in Mumbai. Robin Uthappa, who had been one of KKR's consistent run-scorers in the past, has been named as vice-captain of the team.
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The two-time champions were in search of a man-in-charge ever since they let go of their most successful skipper Gautam Gambhir. The former India captain joined Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.8 crore.
Karthik, who had hit 361 runs from 14 matches for the now-defunct Gujarat Lions in 2017, was bought by KKR for Rs 7.4 crore at the two-day auction held in Bengaluru on February 27 and 28. He has amassed a total of 2903 runs from 152 matches over 10 editions of the cash-rich league.
The 32-year-old , who is known for his all-round abilites, also has a vast captaincy experience under his belt.
He found success in his recent stint as captain when he led India Red to Duleep Trophy title in 2017. Karthik also has been successful in the shortest format of the game, leading Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) side Tuti Patriots to glory in 2016 and the final last year.
At 24, Karthik had also led Tamil Nadu to Vijay Hazare Trophy title in the 2009/10 season of the domestic 50-over tournament.
The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper made an international comeback after a three-year absence during India's tour of the West Indies in July 2017. Since then he has made good use of the limited opportunities he has got in the ODI format. He is also part of the 15-member Indian T20I squad, which will be featuring in a T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka from March 6.
KKR splashed cash at auction
KKR had retained the West Indies duo of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell ahead of the auction. Despite spending their entire purse of Rs 80 crore at the auction, the Kolkata-based franchise managed to buy only 19 players.
Chris Lynn, their costliest player (from the auction) at Rs 9.5 crore, was also considered for the high-profile role. Notably, the Australian star had led Big Bash League (BBL) side Brisbane Heat in 2015/16 season of the T20 tournament.
KKR head coach Jacques Kallis had also told the Press Trust of India in February that the 27-year-old Queenslander was one of the favorites to lead the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise.