Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik has praised Shubman Gill’s mentality, after the youngster played a crucial knock of 65 off 39 balls while opening the innings against Delhi Capitals on Friday.
Gill, who got his opportunity in the absence of regular openers Sunil Narine and Chris Lynn hit seven boundaries and two sixes during his half-century, otherwise batted at number 7 for KKR, and Karthik shed further light on his role.
“It’s an interesting time for us as a team, because Lynny (Chris Lynn) is somebody who’s been opening throughout and producing results, and Sunil has been someone who’s given us good starts whenever he’s got an opportunity. Today (Friday), Shubman used his opportunity and he’s done really well,” Karthik said after the home defeat.
“He showed his class as a player. But we’ve given him a role at number seven which is very suited to his mentality. He’s able to stay calm in pressure situations, which is a very unique skill to have, and he’s delivered for us over and over again.
“He realizes that whenever there is an opportunity he’ll be sent up the order. If not, he’s okay with batting at number seven and finishing off games whenever given the opportunity. I think we’ve been very straightforward with him, and I think he appreciates that.”
KKR went down to Delhi Capitals by seven wickets on the night, and while Karthik did not think that his team was a bowler short, he stated that they could have bowled better.
“We weren’t a bowler short for sure. We had more options, Carlos (Brathwaite) was there too, so no, not a bowler short. But we were a few runs short, and they definitely bowled better,” said the wicketkeeper batsman.
“It’s been a tournament where teams have been chasing down big totals, and that’s been a trend in the last couple of years. It’s interesting the game is going in that direction and also goes a lot to show about how true the wickets are and the ball not doing much. At some stage, the bowler becomes like a machine, whenever he delivers he needs to execute it exactly, otherwise he’s going to go for a boundary.”
KKR’s next match is against the Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.