Kolkata Knight Riders ( KKR) , a franchise that has undergone a tremendous transformation over the years with two championship titles to show in the past 11 years would be aiming for this year’s IPL championship as well. The inclusion of Sunil Narine since Venky Mysore’s arrival as the CEO for Kolkata Knight Riders since 2010 has taken the franchise to unprecedented heights.
The most bankable franchise , second in terms of brand value and a massive fan following pouring in from all across India for their IPL matches , Kolkata Knight Riders have certainly managed to carve a niche for themselves.
One of the reasons why Kolkata Knight Riders have been able to make this big is due to their squad selection tactics. Venky’s moneyball startegy for team selection has proved very beneficial for the KKR in the long run.
And it is by this procedure that they managed to get in the West Indian off-spinner Sunil Narine, Kolkata Knight Riders Go-T0 man in tough situations.
There have been instances where Sunil Narine has single handedly turned the course of the game in Kolkata Knight Riders favor . Be it his wizardry with the ball or his over the top cracking performance with bat which was visible in the previous year’s IPL , Sunil Narine has never failed to amaze the cricket fans.
Sunil Narine has been instrumental in many of Kolkata Knight Riders victories so far but it was Gambhir whose decision of opening the innings with Sunil Narine solely with the intent of going after the ball regardless of the bowler and the field settings that garnered him further praise from fans across the World.
From 2012 to 2014 , Sunil Narine had managed to take 20+ wickets in every IPL edition by getting featured in all thier matches. With an economy rate of 5-7 in a tournament like IPL where even the most lethal bowlers get thrashed for rates of 8-9 , he has certainly proved himself as the Man of Big Occasions for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Illegal Bowling Action
Since 2015 , Sunil Narine has been restricted from playing in many local or international tournaments due to his suspectful bowling action as per the ICC authorities. Even in Pakistan Super League 2018 , where Narine is currently playing for Lahore Qalandars under the captaincy of Brendon McCllum , he has been suspected for the same.
A bowler makes an identity for himself with his bowling action which helps him achieve success after years of hard work. Asking any bowler to change his bowling action and then come back strongly in the game within a short span of time is a herculean task.
Even for Narine , it wasn’t easy for him to get to his peak in the 2015-2017 IPL editions. His ability to take quick wickets did reduce , as the batsmen found ways to smash him across the fences . Or is it the pitches that have become more pacer friendly, the reason behind his downfall ?
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With time, Kolkata Knight Riders have learned to put their bids on young emerging talents with a hope that they may be the match winners they need at various moments . Even if the players failed to contribute, they surely got ample opportunities to rise back to the scene.
Narine might have worked very hard on his batting , being a pinch hitter , he might even give the necessary opening starts and get termed as an all rounder , but it’s his bowling prowess that he is most feared for, by the batsmen in the T20 tournaments .
No matter how appreciable Narine’s performances have been in the past with the ball and the bat , working on the weaknesses has surely brought down his strength and overall value.
Though he has been phenomenal in the Caribbean Premier League , playing under for Trinbago Knight Riders under the same franchise owners , his retention for IPL 2018 has been more of on emotional grounds.
Being the most expense player of Kolkata Knight Riders in this season , they have definitely played a very big gamble by putting 12.5 crores on a player whose action is under heavy scrutinization.
It would be a very bold decision by the Kolkata based franchise to include him in the playing 11 amidst these controversies surrounding his bowling action .
Narine would have to fight against his inner demons first if he would really want to make his way back to the Kolkata Knight Riders dressing room . Narine being the troublemaker at the moment, it seems pretty doubtful for the Kolkata Night Riders to go for an IPL trophy this season.