Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik is enjoying the music coming home after a solid show in Sri Lanka in the finals of the Nidahas Trophy which India bagged with a last minute six. Ahead of the start of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, Karthik is excited to take the field in his new role as the captain of a side who have two IPL trophies to their name. The experienced Tamil Nadu batsman will have to fulfil the big void left by Gautam Gambhir who arguably one of the best captains to have played for KKR.

Karthik asserted that he will be leaving no stone unturned in replacing Gambhir in his very first stint as a captain of an IPL team and will ensure that he gets the best out of his teammates to take KKR into the playoffs. He said that he has it in him to lead the side and will prove his mettle as a leader in the upcoming 11th edition of the cash-rich league. After Gambhir’s departure, KKR named Karthik as their captain for the tournament and would be happy with their decision after the wicket-keeper batsman’s recent heroics with the willow.

“What Gautam Gambhir has achieved for KKR is phenomenal. He’s left a benchmark, being a leader of the team, the management will expect from me the same. I’m aware of the expectations. Yes, there would be pressure. As a captain, you’re expected to at least go to the playoffs, that’s the least anybody can expect. I think I’m at a stage where I can handle it and get the best out of the team,” said Karthik who was brought by the KKR for Rs 7.4 crore in the IPL 2018 player auction.

Karthik who has played for the likes of Delhi Daredevils, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Gujarat Lions possess huge IPL experience under his belt and is looking forward to implementing the knowledge he has gained in the shorter formats for his team in IPL 2018. The Tamil Nadu batsman hinted that he will promote himself up in the order for the franchise. “Obviously I will bat at a different position than what I did in the Indian game. IPL is about dealing with tricky situation, handling pressure. It’s just a week to go and I don’t think I will treat myself any differently. Everybody is here to do their best and I’m no different. Everybody has a role to play,” he was quoted as saying by the PTI.

ALSO READ: Ball tampering: Banned Steve Smith’s father dumps his cricket kit bag, says he will survive

Kolkata Knight Riders might look dull on paper but they have some prominent match winners in the squad who can prove effective any day. Youngsters like Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill and Kamlesh Nagarkoti bring in that extra edge for KKR. Australian pacer Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the IPL which came as a major setback for the Kolkata outfit, but in his absence country mate Mitchell Johnson will spearhead the pace attack for Karthik.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Starc, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Singh Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Ranganath Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Vijay Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi

ALSO READ: Jack Kallis says ball tempering big wakeup call for international cricketers