Newly-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan revealed how Dinesh Karthik came up to him and the KKR management to inform them about his wish to step aside from the leadership role on the eve of their IPL 2020 match against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.
Morgan said Karthik came to him and the KKR coaches on Thursday night and informed them that he would like to concentrate more on his batting.
“It all happened yesterday (the captaincy change), DK came to myself and head coaches. He informed that would like to step back and focus on his batting as he feels that is the best option for the team. That is extremely selfless, and takes a lot of courage,” Morgan said after winning the toss and opting to bat first against Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Morgan added that it came as a surprise to him but he is delighted to take over as the KKR captain.
“Honestly it sort came as out of the blue. I am delighted to be in the leadership role in the team. We are halfway through the tournament. We have shown some potential but we haven’t realised it fully. In any great side, you need to have a number of leaders in the change room. We have an abundance of those,” Morgan added.
The England white-ball skipper added that Karthik will continue to be a part of the leadership group.
“Between myself and Dinesh, we can be at the forefront of that, but the driving engine is the guys behind us,” he said.
KKR made two changes in the team, replacing opener Tom Banton and pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti with mystery spinner Chris Green and speedster Shivam Mavi.
Mumbai Indians are playing Nathan Coulter-Nile in place of James Pattinson.
Earlier on Friday, KKR released a statement saying Karthik handed over the KKR captaincy to Morgan.
“We are fortunate to have leaders such as DK, who has always put the team first. It takes a lot of courage for someone like him to take a decision such as this,” CEO Venky Mysore said in the statement posted on Twitter.
“While we were surprised by his decision, we are respectful of his wishes.”
Karthik has scored 108 runs from seven outings so far, with 58 being his highest score.
Morgan, England’s World Cup-winning skipper, was one of the top buys at the IPL auction and has aggregated 175 runs from seven games.