KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik said, 'At the end of the day, it's a game. You play the best that you can. You need to keep a smile. You need to be nice to others. Everybody's trying hard.'
Kolkata: Embattled skipper Dinesh Karthik says he is "aware of bickering and back-biting", his comments coming in the backdrop of speculations around leadership and batting order in Kolkata Knight Riders.
KKR snapped a six-match losing streak with a 34-run win over Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens on Sunday, days after questions were raised about Andre Russell's batting position, with the West Indian power-hitter himself expressing a desire to bat higher at No. 4.
"It's a high pressure sport, a high octane tournament, you've got to make sure everybody's in a great space, give them the best chance to do well and stay healthy," Karthik said at the post-match presentation.
"A lot of bickering and back-biting can go on in these sorts of situations. I'm very aware of it and (I) make sure nothing like that happens.
"At the end of the day, it's a game. You play the best that you can. You need to keep a smile. You need to be nice to others. Everybody's trying hard."
Regarding Russell, who has made incredible hitting his favourite pastime, the keeper-batsman was impressed with his maturity.
"Russell is a great player, he's a special player and it's good to see him grow as a player. The maturity he's showing is great to see.
"I was just talking about the same to him. These balls cost a lot and we need to ask him to keep calm. We live another day, that's important and the crowd has been fantastic," Karthik said.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said he was not too worried about how his bowlers will come back from the onslaught at the hands of Russell and Shubman Gill.
"This is a learning for us. We will find some answers going forward. Today (Sunday) was a testing time for us, but I am not really worried how the bowling unit will come back from this," Rohit said after his team conceded 232 runs at the Eden Gardens.
"We have to regroup quickly now, we are playing two home games and know the conditions well.
As a team we have done some right things and we have to believe in our abilities. You got to stay positive and look forward to the next game," the India player said.
He praised Hardik Pandya for his blazing 91 off 34 balls, which nearly pulled off a win for Mumbai Indians.
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Hardik Pandya was the most lethal of all India batters as he smashed an unbeaten 71 off just 30 balls, including 7 fours and 5 sixes, to help the hosts achieve a daunting total.
Pandya smashed seven fours and five sixes, finishing unbeaten on 71 off 30 balls as India posted a formidable 208/6 on the board after being invited to bat by Australia.
Dinesh Karthik also said that Rishabh Pant is a quality batter and it was the right choice to play him in the XI in the second T20I between India and Australia.