Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper, has defended Pat Cummins after an off-colour bowling spell in their opening game of IPL 2020, saying that it’s unfair to judge the quick who was “just off quarantine”.
A lot of eyes were on Cummins ahead of KKR’s opening game, the Australian paceman having earned a massive INR 15.5 crore contract in the auction, the most expensive contract for an overseas player in the history of the IPL. After playing a limited-overs series in the UK, Cummins arrived in Abu Dhabi on September 18 and went into quarantine.
In his first game this season, Cummins ran into an in-form Rohit Sharma, who effortlessly delivered his short deliveries to the leg side fence. He finished with figures of 3-0-49-0, his economy of 16.30 the most expensive across both teams.
“It is very unfair to judge him right now,” Karthik said. “He is just off quarantine, [it was] literally at 3.30-4 [am] when he got permission to come here and play the match itself. We’re just happy to have him.
“I don’t think this is a game where we need to judge him at all. Just the fact that … he is a world champion bowler, from whatever I have heard and seen, he is one of the best going around in the world. I am sure he’ll come good.”
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) September 23, 2020
While he did not come good with the ball, Cummins did leave an impression with the bat down the order, managing a fine 12-ball 33, which included four sixes off one over against Jasprit Bumrah.
Karthik admitted that the players were rusty in their opening game, and that he doesn’t want to read too much into the loss.
“I think it was a pretty rusty day to be honest,” he said. “I don’t want to get too analytical about it, but it’s OK. The boys realise where they could have done better. Couple of the guys – Cummins and Morgan – just finished their quarantine today, it is hard – playing in the heat and getting used to the conditions.”