Kolkata Knight Riders wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik gave an insight into how the wickets will behave during the ICC T20 World Cup in less than three weeks’ time in the UAE when he said that it was harder to hit the spinners than the fast bowlers on Tuesday night.
In a low-scoring match, Kolkata Knight Riders registered their fifth win in the tournament, and third in the UAE, as they defeated Delhi Capital by three wickets chasing 127 on a difficult track. Nitish Rana’s unbeaten 36 and Sunil Narine’s 21-run cameo down the order enabled the two-time champions notch up two points at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium to take their tally to 10 points from 11 games.
Karthik shared insights on his conversation with southpaw Rana by saying, “I think it was a case of Nitish feeling good. The fact that he felt he could take on (DC spinner) Lalit Yadav, so he backed himself to hit those shots.
“At that stage, what we were discussing was that we needed to take the game slightly deep. We need to have the right intent. If it is there, we will go for it; if not, we will rotate the strike. It wasn’t an easily rotatable wicket, but there wasn’t a plan like we needed to take on Lalit Yadav. In fact, it was actually harder to hit the spinners than the fast bowlers,” added Karthik.
While the bowlers set the game up for the Knight Riders by restricting the opposition to 127/9 in their quota of 20 overs, Rana’s knock in the middle overs was the turning point of the match. With 52 required off the final seven overs, the match was firmly in the balance. On a sluggish track, Rana took the attack to Lalit Yadav and smashed 20 runs to tilt the game in favour of the Knights.
Despite the 20-run over, the Knights lost a flurry of wickets and were reeling at 96/5, with Narine and Rana holding the fort. The wicket-keeper heaped praises on Rana for his ability to absorb the pressure and guide the team over the line.
“He played a really sensible knock. The good thing was that he was not out till the end, which is very important for us. Just the way he was able to handle pressure, take on the bowlers that he thought he could take on, and it was very nice to see him mature.
“It is important that he keeps playing innings like this because he is capable of this. The most important thing in his life is if he wants to get into the national team and make a name for himself, he needs to keep producing these knocks, and he’s definitely got the talent to do it,” added Karthik.