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Kolkata Knight Riders Mentor David Hussey has quashed reports of a rift between senior players Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell. Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg earlier in the month said that the relationship between the players might hurt their chances this season.

However, Hussey has denied any such claims saying that there is actually brotherhood and bromance between the two. Last season, Russell had expressed his displeasure over Karthik’s decision to bat him lower down the order during a press conference.

No rift between Russell and Karthik

“There is no rift or anything there. Actually, I think there is a bit of bromance there and they are pretty close which is fantastic for the group,” Hussey said in an interview to Indian Express.

“Karthik is a straightforward person who backs his teammates to get the job done. It’s a good sign of leadership. He is high maintenance at times because he loves the game of cricket. There is no malice… he only cares about winning the game,” the 42-year-old further said.

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The KKR mentor also spoke on the kind of relationship between Eoin Morgan and Karthik. He said that both of them being experienced cricketers brings quality leadership to the side.

“Morgan is a classy-middle order player. Along with DK, I am sure it will be a fantastic partnership on the field. DK from behind the stumps and Morgan can be sort of the vice-captain and help the bowlers out in certain situations. He will fit in perfectly,” Hussey said.

Meanwhile, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Chris Green along with coach Brendon McCullum have reached the UAE from the Caribbean after TKR’s title-wining season. Morgan and Pat Cummins will join the side from Manchester after the completion of the ongoing ODI series between England and Australia.

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The two-time IPL champions start their campaign against defending champions Mumbai in Abu Dhabi on September 19. Historically, MI is the team to beat KKR the most number of times in the IPL with 19 wins out of 25 matches.