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IPL 2018: Sunil Narine’s transformation from mystery spinner to mystery hitter

Sunil Narine has been destructive at the top of the order for Kolkata Knight Riders.

Sunil Narine
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Sunil Narine in action. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Sunil Narine’s foray in the Indian Premier League (IPL) back in 2012 saw him bamboozle the best in the business with his resourceful bag of tricks. However, later in his career, he was reported for a suspect bowling- action and had to undergo biomechanical processes in order to get his action altered. The changes reduced a significant amount of bite off his variations.

Albeit, the batsmen still find it tough to read him to perfection, the world ‘mystery’ can’t really be associated with Narine. The batsmen seem more or less comfortable against the off-break bowler. Meanwhile, from out of the blues, the Windies cricketer telecasted skills of a masterful batsman courtesy of Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) strategy to send him as the opener in 2017.

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The gamble paid off and it turned out to be a masterstroke as he went on to decimate bowling attacks inside the fielding restrictions. In KKR’s last match against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, the Trinidadian scored 75 runs off 36 balls and also picked up the prized scalp of KL Rahul.

“Just tried to back myself”- Sunil Narine

The performance helped the Knights put a lid on Ravichandran Ashwin’s men and they managed to brush aside the hosts by 31 runs in a run-fest. Following the match, the bowling all-rounder sounded elated and spoke about the approach he generally employs with both bat and ball.

“When the bowlers bowl short, I just try to stay as still as possible and make contact. Get as close to the ball as I can and go after it, because the ground was small to hit a six that you have to be still. It was a flat wicket. When the spinners were bowling, I just tried to back myself,” Sunil Narine was quoted as saying in the post-match presentation of the match where he also grabbed the Player of the Match award.

If I bowl bad, it gives me a chance to do well with the bat and vice versa. I am happy I can contribute somewhere in every game,” he added.

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