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IPL 2020, KKR vs KXIP: Dinesh Karthik credits New Zealand icon for his match-winning 58

Dinesh Karthik
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 Dinesh Karthik

Highlights

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Dinesh Karthik credited head coach Brendon McCullum after his Player of the Match knock of 58 off 29 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Saturday.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Dinesh Karthik credited head coach Brendon McCullum after his Player of the Match knock of 58 off 29 in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Saturday.

Karthik, who scored at a strike-rate of 200, helped KKR to post 164 for 6 in 20 overs against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Chasing the target, KL Rahul's KXIP fell short by two runs and thereby handed KKR their joint-smallest victory in the IPL.

Speaking at the post-match presentation, Karthik said KKR's head coach McCullum has been pushing him to bat higher in the order.

"McCullum is encouraging me to bat higher, though I always feel I bat better somewhere in the middle. We have had these conversations, but at the end I give him the credit for keeping me in a place where I can contribute to the team's success. Whenever Russell gets injured, my heart is always in my mouth because he is a very key player for us. We need to look up at him and make sure he's okay," added Karthik.

The KKR skipper also heaped praise on Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna, who made vital contributions with wickets of KXIP's in-form batters, Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.

"Krishna is special, and is close to a spot for the India white-ball team. He has to make some adjustments but the way he bowled in the second spell shows why he is one of the better bowlers in India. I think Narine stands up for us all the time, he's always looking out for the team. A lot of credit goes to Morgan for having the world's best captain around. He keeps things very positive. As for the Maxwell shot, I was hoping it would land just short, and that's exactly what ended up happening. Not easy to hit a shot over cover under pressure. But credit to the bowlers for finishing it really well with the ball," said Karthik.

Meanwhile, Rahul – who has now lost six matches this season out of seven as KXIP skipper, said he has no answers.

"We started well, we got close, but honestly I have no answers. Just have to keep coming hard in the next seven and win a few. We bowled well, it's the first game on this new strip, but the bowlers adapted well by swinging the ball early and getting wickets in the powerplay, which is the only way to keep them below 180. Even in the death they did well to mix it up, trying to bowl bouncers and bluff the batsmen with wide yorkers. That's what we asked of them and they executed well. We weren't satisfied at any stage during the run-chase, you're only satisfied when you win. Me and Mayank started off well, but if you lose wickets in clusters at the end, it's hard to get over the line," added Rahul at a post-match interview.

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