October 25, 2020
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IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders Won't Put Extra Pressure On Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Says Dinesh Karthik

Kolkata Knight Riders rode some fine batting and bowling performances by their young brigade to deny Rajasthan Royals a hattrick of wins in IPL 2020

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IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders Won't Put Extra Pressure On Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Says Dinesh Karthik
Shivam Mavi being congratulated by Pat Cummins and other KKR teammates after taking a Rajasthan Royals wicket in Dubai on Wednesday
BCCI Photo
IPL 2020: Kolkata Knight Riders Won't Put Extra Pressure On Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Says Dinesh Karthik
outlookindia.com
2020-10-01T14:50:47+05:30

The emergence of India's under-19 cricketers as match-winners or game-changers has already been a hallmark of IPL 2020. On Wednesday night, Kolkata Knight Riders beat Rajasthan Royals by 37 runs largely due to the contributions made by Shubman Gill (47) and pacers Shivam Mavi (2/20) and Kamlesh Nagarkoti (2/13).

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All in their early 20s, Gill, Mavi and Nagarkoti have won the attention of the TV commentators, all top former cricketers. This edition of the IPL has seen the emergence of a Devdutt Padikkal of Royal Challenger Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab's Ravi Bishnoi.

IPL's choking pressure is like a double-edged sword. While it teaches youngsters to handle tense situations, it can also be counterproductive especially when the players are in a bio-bubble with little scope to let out their frustrations.

Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik, an IPL veteran, understands this than anybody else.

"Definitely, I think the fact that these young boys are doing well is very good. I don't think we should get too carried away and make it a lot about them," Karthik said during a post-match chat in Dubai on Wednesday. .

For Karthik, it is important that Mavi, Gill and Nagarkoti don't feel the extra pressure as they go deep into the tournament.

"I don't want to add pressure on them by making them feel that they are the ones that we are dependent on... There are fabulous cricketers around them as well who will play a role and make them look even better than what they are."

Turning points

Shivam Mavi grabbed the two big wickets of Jos Buttler and in-form Sanju Samson in his match-winning show, while Kamlesh Nagarkoti ripped the middle order with two wickets -- Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag -- in four deliveries to derail Rajasthan Royals in a tricky chase of 175.

At the 2018 auction, Nagarkoti, then 18, was snapped up for Rs 3.2 crore, while Mavi, 19, commanded a price of Rs 3 crore.

But the young quicks endured some injury setbacks, especially Nagarkoti who was ruled out of two seasons but KKR continued to repose faith in them.

"I've been wanting to see them since the time they played the (2018 U-19) World Cup and now it's just great to see them both on the field."

"To see these boys out there playing for us, representing our franchise, the fact that we've stuck with them and to see them out there makes us so happy. The fact that they're bowling well and fielding well is a bonus," Karthik said.

Pat Cummins, the role model

The youngsters now are in the elite company of world's numero uno Test bowler Pat Cummins and Karthik believes it would make a "massive difference".

"Cummins is an extraordinary role model for everybody. To have a player like him around is a confidence-booster because. He's so good with the young kids and he's just great to have around the team.

"I think the boys are learning a lot. The fact that he's interacting with all these guys not only on-the-field but making a genuine effort off-the-field makes a massive difference."

Karthik also hailed the team's mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy who bagged two wickets to help KKR restrict the Royals for 137/9.

"The poor guy had a few injuries but I'm really happy to see him. He's from Chennai so obviously I'm really fond of him for the fact that we are both playing together. He had a few doubts because of his injury but I'm just happy to see him out there," Karthik said.

KKR next face Delhi Capitals in their fourth match on Saturday.

(With PTI inputs)


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