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Update Dinesh Karthik steps down as KKR captain, Eoin Morgan to lead side

[Image: dinesh-1600917431.jpg]

Dinesh Karthik on Friday stepped down as the captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders, ahead of their IPL 2020 tie against defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi, and handed over the responsibility to England's white-ball skipper Eoin Morgan. Karthik took the decision with a view to focus on his batting.

Under Karthik's captaincy, KKR have so far won four of their first seven matches this season and are placed fourth on the points table. Overall, Karthik has led KKR in 37 IPL games since being named as the skipper ahead of the 2018 season when he was roped in. He led the team to 19 wins, implying a win percentage of 52.70

“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. While we were surprised by his decision, we are respectful of his wishes, said Venky Mysore, CEO of KKR.

"We are also fortunate that Eoin Morgan, the 2019 World Cup-winning captain, who has been the vice-captain, is willing to lead the side going forward. DK and Eoin have worked brilliantly together during this tournament and although Eoin takes over as captain, this is effectively a role swap and we expect that this transition will work in a seamless manner”

Morgan, who recently led the England ODI team to their maiden World Cup win in 2019 at home, was roped in by Knight Riders for INR 5.25 crore at the December auction in Kolkata last year.

Karthik's batting did come under scrutiny at the start of this IPL season following scores of 30, 0, 1, 6, 12, but bounced back to score an innings-reviving 58 off 29 balls against Kings XI Punjab, a knock that came when most of his cards were down. He managed 108 runs this season at a strike rate of 136.7 with just one half-century.

KKR will next face their bogey team Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday.


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