Dinesh Karthik has stepped down from captaincy of KKR and been replaced by Eoin Morgan! I wouldn’t call this an unexpected move since a lot of people were demanding this, but after the win against KXIP where DK played an absolutely magnificent innings, the calls to remove him from captaincy had mostly vanished. But here we are, just one toss later, Eoin Morgan has been appointed as the new captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Let me tell you why this is a poor decision.
First of all, KKR isn’t even struggling right now. In fact, with a comfortable win against the Mumbai Indians today, they could actually go on to No.3 on the Points Table overtaking RCB, one of the ‘terrific trio’ of this year’s IPL (DC, MI, RCB). They are far far ahead in the contention for a playoff spot amongst all the other teams. Why fix something when it ain’t broke?
The Indian-Overseas Factor
Secondly, DK is Indian. The first thing you look for in a captain is that he should be able to interact with the players. Especially the young players who are new to the glamour and pressures of the highest stage. Now, do you really think Eoin Morgan will effectively be able to engage and inteact with people like Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Prasidh Krishna? These are young guys from small towns and villages.
To give you an example, Shivam Mavi has liked several tweets which spoke against Shah Rukh Khan, who is literally paying him 9 crores just for a few days of service, and giving him a precious headstart into his future career and possibly changing his life. Either he’s just that dim, or he doesn’t understand the language (the likelier option). Besides, these guys are only playing their 7th or 8th game at the highest level. How will they be able to relate to the experiences of a literal World-Cup Winner from halfway across the globe who’s played north of 600 games?
The Opportunity Cost Concept
Another problem with having an overseas captain is that the moment they stop carrying their weight in the side, the team is in trouble. To use a concept of economics – let’s look at the opportunity cost of playing DK as captain and playing Morgan as captain. If DK is the captain and he isn’t performing well, the next best option that you forego, is Nikhil Naik. But if Morgan starts struggling, you are giving up Sunil Narine or Tom Banton or Lockie Ferguson to keep him in the XI just because he is the captain.
The Rajathan Royals Case Study
We’re seeing exactly this happening with the Rajasthan Royals right now. Steve Smith has had the worst batting impact in their whole team so far. Actually, Steve Smith has had the worst batting impact out of every single player in the whole IPL so far. That’s right, he has been the single worst batsman this season. This is statistics talking, so it isn’t even subjective. Yet RR are having to stick with him because he’s their captain.
DK And KKR – The Journey
And finally, DK has been with KKR for the past 3 years, much like most of their current squad. While Morgan has just come in this season. DK knows these players inside out. He has led them through 2 great seasons, with all sorts of highs and lows. He has backed players through poor form and injury. He is emotional and passionate about this team – we saw it shine through after the RR game. He has given up his ideal batting number for the team’s sake. He is the perfect team player.
But perhaps that’s why he has stepped down. He may feel that’s the right thing to do for the team to prosper. Let’s see how KKR do from here. If they make it to the playoffs, that’s great, but if they blunder this advantage that they have got, at least they will know the exact moment where it all went wrong.