IPL 2021: KKR vice-captain Dinesh Karthik highly optimistic about Phase 2, says, ‘Will try to win 6 out of 7’

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vice-captain Dinesh Karthik is hopeful of the purple brigade’s promising performance in the second leg of IPL 2021. The wicket-keeper batsman said that the aim is to qualify for the playoffs, winning at least six out of seven games in UAE. In the first phase, KKR endured a poor run, losing five out of seven games.

Dinesh Karthik, who joined the KKR camp after a successful stint as a commentator in the UK, said the focus is on securing their berth in the playoffs. He further said that the team is in a good space and is optimistic about his side making an impact in the remaining matches of the tournament.

“Overall as a team, I think we are in a decent space. We need to gel together as a group and make a difference this time. We want to win 6 out of 7 matches (to qualify),” the KKR website quoted Karthik as saying.

“It’s as simple as that. As a team that’s what we’ll be looking to do. Take one game at a time but try and win 6 out of 7 matches,” he added.

The 2020 edition of IPL saw KKR moving really close to qualifying for the knockout stage. Having finished fifth owing to a not-so-healthy net run rate last year, KKR will want to have a change of fortune this time around in the UAE.

“Last year when we were in UAE, we missed it (qualifying for playoffs) by a whisker. We won as many matches as the last team had won but still just missed it by a whisker. Two years on the trot, we have been fifth on the table. That’s something that still gnaws at me,” Dinesh Karthik said.

Even though KKR haven’t had a great run in the first phase of IPL 2021, having won just two out of 7 matches, Karthik insisted that the team would focus on the positives and continue to play aggressive cricket.

“KKR is known to play very positive and aggressive cricket. I want that to come through in the second half. I still think the team spirit is good. We’re positive and we have a coach who’s always infusing positivity into us,” said Dinesh Karthik.

“As fans, all I want to say is keep supporting us. We’ll try and play a brand of cricket that’ll make you proud. It did put a smile on your face at various points during the last two IPLs. We’ll try and put a bigger smile this time around,” he added.

IPL 2021 will resume with Mumbai Indians locking horns with CSK on September 19. The final game of the league stage will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals on October 8.