I can handle it and get the best out of the team: Karthik
Kolkata: Dinesh Karthik on Sunday acknowledged that he has an onerous task of replacing a very successful Gautam Gambhir but asserted that he has it in him to steer Kolkata Knight Riders to at least the IPL Play-offs and get the best out of his side.
KKR think tank chose not to retain two-time IPL winning skipper Gambhir and handed the reins of the team to the Tamil Nadu batsman, bought for Rs 7.4 crore.
"What Gautam Gambhir has achieved for KKR is phenomenal. He's left a benchmark," Karthik said after joining his new team and on the sidelines of a their jersey launch.
Under Gambhir, KKR twice emerged champions (2012, 2014) and also made the Play-offs thrice (2011, 2016 and 2017).
Karthik has wealth of experience having played for as many as five different IPL franchisees -- Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Gujarat Lions in last season.
"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," he asserted.
Karthik looked a transformed batsman in the Tri-nation final against Bangladesh in Colombo last month when his last-ball six sealed a nervy win for India.
"It's been close to 10 days now since that innings, things have moved on, people have moved on. We have a new bunch of boys. It was a great game as I've said. When we play Bangladesh, it's a different kind of pressure. If you win, you are like 'okay you've won', but if you lose it's like 'wake up, what you doing' types.
"We had a good start, it dipped in the middle. I just had to hit boundaries when I got in. I was lucky on that day. We had a good season, and for us not win that game would not have been nice to end the series. It was a great feeling."
Karthik hinted that he might promote himself in the batting order when they open their IPL-11 campaign against RCB at home.