Dubai: Dinesh Karthik, captain of IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, blew the lid on their matchwinning West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell’s displeasure with the decision-making in the team last season. Karthik, who replaced Gautam Gambhir as the captain of the team in 2018, had come in for some flak when KKR failed to qualify for the play-offs.
Speaking in an interview on Youtube channel, ‘DK,’ as the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman is known among his teammates, felt that Russell was more unhappy with the fact the team wasn’t winning rather than being unhappy with Karthik in person.
The 13th edition of the IPL, meanwhile, is scheduled to be held in the UAE tentatively between September 19 and November 8. The Indian cricket board, which is still awaiting a final nod from the Indian government, decided to take the tournament overseas in view of the COVID-19 pandemic developing into a major health concern in India.
To be fair, he’s one of those guys who wears his heart on his sleeve. I am sure he meant whatever he said. But again, West Indies players are in your face kind of people. But whatever they say, they say it honestly and it’s up to how you take it
“To be fair, he’s one of those guys who wears his heart on his sleeve. I am sure he meant whatever he said. But again, West Indies players are in your face kind of people. But whatever they say, they say it honestly and it’s up to how you take it. If you want to take it offensively, then the mistake is on your part. If you want to take it constructively which is how I looked at it. We had a conversation over it man to man,” he said.
“He wasn’t not happy with me, he wasn’t happy that the team wasn’t winning, that is the bottomline. Whatever he said, I completely respected it.”
Karthik said that Russell was apologetic after making those comments and the issue did not snowball because of the relationship between the pair.
“He was a little apologetic as well. At the end of the day, I have a great relationship with him. If I didn’t have a great relationship with him, it could have spiralled into something nasty,” he said.
“Because I have an honest relationship with him where I can go straight up to him and be like ‘Russ you know what, I don’t think what you have said is right, because the way it has come out, it’s not great.’ He also said ‘you know skip, this is how I felt about it not how it’s come out’. There itself half the battle is over.
“But then he had an issue. He said we can do this better. I don’t think you are doing this way. And then I had to explain ‘being a leader, I can’t completely please you but we can change things around but not exactly like you want’.
“Having different opinions and dealing with it is one of the most important things. I think you need to be able to stand up and have a conversation. Sometimes a hard conversation as well,” he added.