IPL 2021 Phase 2 – Dinesh Karthik KKR Captain? England and Wales Cricket Board managing director Ashley Giles has already announced that England players will not be relieved for the remaining matches of IPL 2021. This puts Kolkata Knight Riders in a dilemma as they will lose their captain Eoin Morgan for IPL Phase 2. In the middle of this development, will KKR go back to their old captain Dinesh Karthik or will they appoint a new skipper instead?
Dinesh Karthik was the captain for Kolkata Knight Riders after Gautam Gambhir was let go ahead of the 2018 season. In three seasons, Karthik failed to impress. His poor performances resulted in Eoin Morgan getting the role midway through IPL 2020 in UAE. England’s white-ball captain Morgan hasn’t shined with the role either.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Will Dinesh Karthik get his job back and will he lead KKR again?
While Dinesh Karthik is still the vice-captain, considering he had stepped down from the role, it remains to be seen if the Kolkata Knight Riders management picks the wicketkeeper-batsman as the captain again. The Indian batter, however, is ready for the job in case a need arises.
“Pat Cummins has himself said that he will not come. But when it comes to Eoin Morgan, there are still three months to go. A lot can change from now till September. But if I am asked to lead, I will be ready for it,” Karthik told TOI on Thursday.
Karthik’s captaincy role too doesn’t offer confidence. In 37 matches as the KKR captain, Dinesh Karthik has managed only 21 wins with a winning percentage of just 51%. Before KKR, he had also led the Delhi franchise in a few matches. But with just seven matches left to the tournament, appointing a new captain may not be KKR’s idea. Hence, Karthik may get his job back, albeit momentarily.
IPL 2021 Phase 2: Will Pat Cummins be considered for the role?
It is still unclear whether Australian players will be available for the IPL 2021 Phase 2 in UAE. While Australia do not have any series scheduled during the period, they may end up playing a postponed bilateral series before the ICC T20 World Cup after the West Indies tour. But if that does not happen, Australian players are expected to be available if Cricket Australia does not ban players from playing in the IPL due to the World Cup.
That means, Pat Cummins, Australia’s vice-captain in Tests and ODIs, will be available for Kolkata Knight Riders and would be a perfect choice to lead KKR in the remaining games. With Eoin Morgan’s poor form as a captain, it will also be a chance for KKR management to test Pat Cummins as the future leader of the team.
In IPL 2021, under Morgan’s captaincy, KKR have won just two matches in 7 games. They are placed 7th with just 2 wins under their belt. Overall, Morgan has a winning percentage of just 32.14% having lost nine matches in 14 so far.
Cummins is already one of the first names in KKR playing XI as the team depends a lot on his bowling abilities. If Karthik agrees to continue to play the vice-captain role, Cummins could fit right in as the captain. The ball is now in KKR management’s court to take a call before the season restarts in UAE.
IPL 2021 – England players unavailable:
With the BCCI all but confirming September 15-October 15 as the window for IPL 2021 Phase 2 in the UAE, England players will remain unavailable. England will tour Bangladesh for a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series during that time. The Three Lions will also face Pakistan for a 2-match T20I series in Pakistan, making players unavailable for the IPL.
Players who could miss: Moeen Ali (CSK), Ben Stokes (RR), Jofra Archer (RR), Eoin Morgan (KKR), Jos Buttler (RR), Liam Livingstone (RR), Sam Curran (CSK), Tom Curran (DC), Chris Woakes (DC), Jason Roy (SRH), Sam Billings (DC), Dawid Malan (PBKS), Chris Jordan (PBKS), Jonny Bairstow (SRH).