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Indian Premier League 2020

‘Karthik at No. 6’ – Gambhir suggests batting order change for KKR

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Gautam Gambhir, the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain, has suggested a change in the current KKR batting order after their defeat to Delhi Capitals in IPL 2020.

Needing 229 to win at Sharjah, Narine, whose role as opener has been a subject of debate, started off the chase with Shubman Gill. Nitish Rana walked in at No.3 after yet another failure up the order for Narine, followed by Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins and Rahul Tripathi, in that order.

Though Morgan and Tripathi’s partnership of 78 runs off 31 deliveries took KKR close to DC’s total, they fell short by 18 runs. Gambhir, analysing his former team’s performance – which he led to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 – suggested a promotion for Tripathi to the top of the batting order.

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While he wants Narine to slide down the order and bat at eight or nine, Gambhir believes Karthik should bat after Morgan and Russell should come in at six to maximise the potential of the KKR batting order.

“Rahul Tripathi goes up the order, Dinesh Karthik plays at No. 6, not before Morgan and not before Russell as well,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo. “Probably Sunil Narine goes to bat at eight or nine. If Morgan bats at four and Russell at five, that’s the right position for both of them and Dinesh Karthik to follow.”

Gambhir also questioned Karthik’s tactic to hand leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy the 19th over, where he ended up conceding 20 runs. “Your best bowlers need to be bowling the 18th, 19th and 20th over and unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine – if a spinner has to bowl,” he said.

“You got to back young Mavi as well, he did a fabulous job in the previous games and so did Andre Russell. You have to got to give it your best bowlers. Yes, Varun Chakravarthy did bowl well in the first few overs but you cannot expect a young spinner to be bowling the 19th over and that too in Sharjah, probably it was a miscalculation.”

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