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Ready to handle pressure and get best out of team: Karthik

Kolkata, April 1: Newly appointed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Dinesh Karthik on Sunday said he is aware of the expectations the team magement has from him as he is filling in the big shoes of Gautam Gambhir, adding that he is at a point in his career where he can cope with it.
“What Gautam Gambhir has achieved for KKR is phenomel. He’s left a benchmark that every season they have qualified as bare minimum.
“And being a leader of the team, the magement will expect the same from me. I’m aware of the expectations. Whether there would be pressure, ‘yes’. As a captain, you’re expected to at least go to the playoffs, that’s the least anybody can expect. I think I’m at a stage where I can handle it and get the best out of the team,” Karthik said during KKR’s jersey launch at the team hotel.
KKR decided to let go of their former captain Gambhir who was sold to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.8 crore in the auctions earlier this year.
Gambhir helped the men in purple win two titles in 2012 and 2014 after joining them in 2011 from Delhi where he spent the first three seasons.
KKR finished in the top four for the first time in the very season before lifting the coveted trophy in the next year.
Karthik, who was med Gambhir’s successor raising a few eyebrows, helped India win the tri series in Sri Lanka with a whirlwind unbeaten eight-ball 29 in the fil against Bangladesh.
“It’s been close to 10 days now since that innings, things have moved on, people have moved on. We have a new bunch of boys,” Karthik said recalling the effort that catapulted him to unprecedented recognition last month.
“It was a great game as I’ve said. When we play Bangladesh, it’s a different kind of pressure. If you win, you are like ‘okay you’ve won’, but if you lose it’s like ‘wake up, what you doing’ types.
“We had a good start, it dipped in the middle. I just had to hit boundaries when I got in. I was lucky on that day. We had a good season, and for us not to win that game would not have been nice to end the series. It was a great feeling,” the 32-year-old stumper added.
Asked how he always keeps his cool, Karthik said, “I’m a normal human being. I do get angry. I’ve my moments. But I’m a pretty patient, that’s a good thing to be a leader.
“It’s not about throwing your weight, but maximise your resources. The kind of players I’ve in front of me, there’s no reason for me to get angry. It’s going to be a pleasure working with them and getting the best out of them.”
Karthik hinted that he might promote himself in the batting order when they open their IPL-11 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore at home. IANS

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Ankur Kalita