A ‘surprised’ Gautam Gambhir reacted strongly to Dinesh Karthik’s decision of handing over Kolkata Knight Riders captaincy to Eoin Morgan in the middle of IPL 2020. The two-time IPL-winning former KKR captain said Morgan won’t be able to change things as KKR have already played half their matches this year.
Gambhir’s comments came before KKR were handed a crushing 8-wicket defeat by defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi, which marked the debut of Morgan as KKR’s new captain.
“Cricket is not about relationships, it’s about performances and honestly, I don’t think Morgan can change a lot of things. He could’ve changed a lot of things had he captained from the start of the tournament. No one changes during the middle of the tournament. It’s nice to have a good relationship between the coach and the captain,” said Gambhir on Star Sports when he was asked about whether the relationship between Morgan and head coach Brendon McCullum can get KKR to new highs.
Also Read | Ex-India cricketers express concerns after Morgan takes over KKR captain
Gambhir said KKR were not in a position that they needed a change in captaincy.
“Li’ll surprised. He’s obviously leading KKR for the last 2 and a half years. You don’t do it in the middle of the season. KKR is not in that bad a position that someone needs to change a captain, so yeah little bit surprised,” added Gambhir.
The former India opener, who captained KKR for seven seasons and led them to two titles in 2012 and 2014, said KKR should have appointed Eoin Morgan as captain at the start of the season if they really wanted to do it.
“If KKR wanted to make this change, they should have done it at the start of the competition. If you are talking so much about a World Cup-winning captain being there in your team puts pressure on someone like Dinesh Karthik then why not just give it to Morgan straightaway, why put so much pressure on Karthik? My point is, it sounds very good when someone says that I want to concentrate on my batting but the truth is, you start getting fillers from the management whether they are happy or not, so it’s very unfortunate,” Gambhir said.
Also Read | Morgan reveals what Karthik told him while handing over KKR captaincy
Gambhir also refused to compare this with his decision to step down as the Delhi Daredevils captain in 2018.
“My situation was very different to what DK’s situation is. I only captained Delhi for 7 games and DK is captaining KKR for the last two and a half years, so obviously, the CEO, the entire management know his style of captaincy. I went to DD with a very different mindset that I want to change the fortunes of Delhi but after it didn’t happen for seven games I felt the need to step down,” Gambhir said.
KKR are still at No.4 in the points table – with 8 points in 8 matches – despite suffering successive confidence-denting defeats.