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“This Is So Wrong”: Dinesh Karthik Fumes As Tamil Nadu Coach ‘Throws Captain Under The Bus’

It isn’t often that one sees the coach of a cricket team publicly criticising its captain. But, the rare incident took place during the Ranji Trophy semi-final match between Tamil Nadu and Mumbai. Tamil Nadu’s coach Sulakshan Kulkarni slammed his captain R Sai Kishore’s decision to bat first. The statement from Kuklarni triggered a huge row on social media, with fans critisiing the coach. Even veteran Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik took social media, sharing his disappointment at Kulkarni’s comments.

“This is soo WRONG. This is so disappointing from the coach ..instead of backing the captain who has brought the team to the semis after 7 yrs and thinking it’s a start for good things to happen, the coach has absolutely thrown his captain and team under the bus,” Karthik said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Kulkarni didn’t shy away from putting his captain, Sai Kishore in the line of fire, suggesting it was the latter’s decision to bat first that led to the team’s loss in the semi-final.

“I always speak straightforward — we lost the match at 9 o’clock on day one,” Kulkarni said after Tamil Nadu lost the semi-final contest to Mumbai by an innings and 70 runs. “The moment I saw the wicket I exactly knew what we were going to get. Everything was set, we won the toss, as a coach, as a Mumbaikar, I know the conditions well. We should have bowled but the captain had some different instinct.”

“When I saw that they had played on a different pitch in the quarter-final and what wicket they gave, (that) moment I realised that this is a seaming-friendly wicket and it was going to be a very tough match, we would have to play really well to win this game,” Kulkarni said.

“Ultimately he [Sai Kishore] is the boss. I can give my feedback and inputs (on) the kind of wickets and Mumbai’s mindset also.”

Kulkarni said that Tamil Nadu lost the game in the first hour itself after losing to Sai Sudharsan under challenging conditions.

“We were mentally prepared that whoever wins the toss would bowl first,” he said. “We knew that we would bowl first. The moment they (TV broadcast) said we would bat first, whatever you say, it goes in the batsmen’s minds. That first half an hour (before play) got in the batsmen’s minds.

“When you get into the first over, third (fourth) ball, your international player gets out and you see the situation… in the first hour, we lost the game and the plot. It was very difficult to come back.”

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