Eoin Morgan said that there will be a smooth transition of leadership from Dinesh Karthik to him after Karthik quit as KKR skipper and assigned the role to 2019 World Cup-winning English captain Eoin Morgan instead.
The development came on the eve of Kolkata Knight Riders match against Mumbai Indians when KKR announced Dinesh Karthik stepping down as captain in order to focus on his batting.
Eoin Morgan: Good Opportunity For Me To Lead KKR
Eoin Morgan’s KKR, however, stumbled to an eight-wicket loss to Mumbai after a poor outing with both bat and ball. KKR scored only 148/5 after failure with bat losing 5 wickets for only 61 runs in the 11th over. But Pat Cummins, who scored his first 50 in T20 cricket, and Eoin Morgan stitched an 87-run unbeaten partnership for the 6th wicket in about 9 overs as KKR posted a respectable total on board.
In reply, MI lost only 2 wickets of skipper Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav, but Quinton de Kock scored an unbeaten 78 to give MI a victory with 19 balls to spare. Hardik Pandya too remained unbeaten on 21 while Rohit Sharma scored 35 and Suryakumar Yadav scored 10 runs. All the KKR bowlers, apart from spinner Varun Chakravarthy, were too expensive and conceded more than 7 runs per over.
“I think within a team of leaders, given that Dinesh and me were titled leaders in terms of being the captain and vice-captain, I think there will be a smooth transition from here. It took a lot of courage for DK and a lot of selflessness from him to come ahead and recognize within himself that he needed to focus on his batting for the remainder of the tournament,” said Morgan during the post-match press conference.
“I became captain, it is a very good opportunity for me to lead the team, but as I said within our group, we have a number of leaders who we will need throughout this tournament,” he added.
Dinesh Karthik had led KKR in 37 matches out of which KKR won 19 and lost 17 while 1 match was tied. He had a win percentage of 52.7. Gautam Gambhir had led KKR in 108 IPL matches from 2011 to 2017 and had a win percentage of 56.94 while Dinesh Karthik is the 2nd most successful KKR leader, who began his KKR leadership from 2018.
Eoin Morgan Acknowledges Mistakes With Bat But Credits MI For Bowling Well
Batting first, KKR lost wickets early as Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik could not score double-digit figures while Andre Russell and Shubman Gill were also out while looking set. KKR were down and out at 42/4 in 8th over and 61/5 in 11th over when Pat Cummins came in to join Eoin Morgan at the crease. The duo stitched an 87-run unbroken partnership as KKR posted a respectable score.
Pat Cummins scored an unbeaten 53 off 36 balls with 5 fours and 2 sixes as he brought up his first-ever T20 half-century. Eoin Morgan scored an unbeaten 39 off 29 balls. They were severe on Nathan Counter-Nile who conceded more than 12 runs per over. But all the other MI bowlers, except Trent Boult and Nathan Counter Nile, conceded less than 6 runs per over. Rahul Chahar was the best standout bowler returning with figures of 2/18 in the quota of 4 overs.
“With the bat, we made a few mistakes, I thought Mumbai Indians bowled really well and they proved why they have been one of the form teams in this year’s tournament. From here on end, we have an area of improvement where we need to make strides on. We are at the halfway mark in this tournament and there is no better time to turn things around,” said Morgan.
“We look at Pat Cummins as an all-rounder, I think the thing he has really been focusing this year has been his golf, that has made a huge difference in his batting and striking, he has been hitting the golf ball really well,” he added.