Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik doesn't want fast bowler Pat Cummins prematurely judged in the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Cummins was a costly purchase for the Knight Riders prior to the start of the tournament. But his first performance of the tournament was poor.
He conceded 49 runs in three overs and did not take a wicket in defeat to the Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.
“It is very unfair to judge Cummins right now. He is just off quarantine, he got permission to come and play the match itself at 15:30. We are just happy to have him and I don't think this is a game where we need to judge him at all,” said Karthik.
“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 trust him and I'm sure he will come good.”
Young seamer Shivam Mavi has recovered from injury and opened the bowling. He snared the key wickets of batsmen Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma.
Karthik on Mavi and Russell
“Up front Mavi was very good. The poor guy missed out due to an injury last year and he is looking forward to this competition and he is shaping up well and that's a good sign for KKR,” added Karthik.
Karthik, too, defended the decision to bat big-hitting West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell as low as sixth position in the order. Russell, arguably, should have batted higher during KKR's pursuit of a 196-run target.
“I think it is a strategy because it is done universally, because it is not easy for a bowler to bowl consistently to left-hander and a right-hander. Even if they get their line a little wrong, it could go for runs. Because we have the advantage of doing that, sometimes we tend to do that,” concluded Karthik.
Kolkata won the IPL in 2012 and 2014. Only Mumbai and Chennai have more titles, with four and three, respectively.
This year's edition of the IPL is being played in the United Arab Emirates. The tournament is being hosted without spectators. This is being done as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus.