Kolkata Knight Riders may look like a divided house with the team practising without skipper Dinesh Karthik on the eve of their IPL match against Rajasthan Royals, but West Indian all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite Wednesday said they still have a healthy dressing room.
KKR found themselves on the brink of elimination with five losses in a row, the latest coming against Sunrisers Hyderabad Sunday as the team think-tank chose to give their under-performing India players, including skipper Dinesh Karthik, some days’ break.
ALL IS WELL
Dinesh Karthik, along with the likes of Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill who were training in Mumbai, checked in late in the evening but Brathwaite said the mood in the camp was absolutely fine.
“I think the mood in the camp is good. We are still teasing each other. As a professional player, you cannot allow results to alter your demeanour or your mindset,” Brathwaite said.
“If you allow that then the remaining four games will be even harder. We still laugh out at each other. We are still a healthy dressing room. I feel privileged to be part of it. I still enjoy coming to work practising and realising the game better.”
Most of the team’s regular players in the playing XI were not seen in the match-eve practice, and the Windies T20 skipper, who has played just one match this season, was sent for the media interaction.
Brathwaite said the KKR team does not have a leadership group per se and anyone who is a born-leader can contribute.
“If you are a leader by nature, then that will come on in whatever you say, and do, and how you say things and how you do it. I’ve been speaking in team meetings, speaking to the coach, to the captain to the manager. I think a leader is natural, it’s something that happens. I see myself as one.”
KKR’s biggest letdown this season has been their bowling department as they have not been able to give regular breakthroughs.
“I just don’t want to single out bowling unit because as a team we haven’t played cricket collectively that we want to. I don’t think we batted as well as we want to. It will be unfair to single out the bowlers,” he said.
WIN MATTERS MOST
KKR have to win all their remaining four matches from here on and the Windies all-rounder said they’re in search of the win and then carry forward from there on.
“We just need to find a spark from somewhere either individually or collectively to arrest the slide and maintain that momentum in the business part of the tournament. I prefer to have six losses, rather than having them in the last six games and then being knocked out. So, as a team, we haven’t been good enough. Full stop. It’s a matter of getting better and putting out perfect game together,” he said.