Dinesh Karthik, captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), revealed on Monday that he had resolved all issues with West Indies allrounder Andre Russell after the latter’s comments about the IPL franchise stirred up a controversy last season.
Russell had claimed that a few “bad decisions” by their team during their 2019 IPL campaign had led to their loss and blamed an unhealthy team atmosphere for the poor results.
“We have a good team but if you make bad decisions then you will always lose games and that’s what we’ve been doing. If we had enough time, I could pinpoint a few games where if we just looked to bowl tighter in areas or bring in right bowlers at the right time, we could have won,” Russell had said after KKR failurd to defend 176 against a “weak” Rajasthan Royals.
Reflecting on the episode, Karthik, while speaking on The RK Show said, “To be fair, he’s one of those guys who wears his heart on his sleeve. I am sure he meant whatever he said. But again, West Indies players are in your face kind of people. But whatever they say, they say it honestly and it’s up to how you take it. If you want to take it offensively, then the mistake is on your part. If you want to take it constructively which is how I looked at it. We had a conversation over it man to man.
“He wasn’t happy with me, he wasn’t happy that the team wasn’t winning, that is the bottom line. Whatever he said, I completely respected it.
“He was a little apologetic as well. At the end of the day, I have a great relationship with him. If I didn’t have a great relationship with him, it could have spiralled into something nasty.
“Because I have an honest relationship with him where I can go straight up to him and be like ‘Russ you know what, I don’t think what you have said is right, because the way it has come out, it’s not great.’. He also said ‘you know skip, this is how I felt about it not how it’s come out’. There itself half the battle is over.
“But then he had an issue. He said ‘we can do this better. I don’t think you are doing this way’. And then I had to explain ‘being a leader, I can’t completely please you but we can change things around but not exactly as you want’.
“Having different opinions and dealing with it is one of the most important things. I think you need to be able to stand up and have a conversation. Sometimes a hard conversation as well,” Karthik added.