IPL 2019: KKR coach Jacques Kallis hopeful of Sunil Narine's speedy recovery

IPL 2019: KKR coach Jacques Kallis hopeful of Sunil Narine’s speedy recovery

"I don't think the injury is too bad."

Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis. (Photo by MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) made a winning start to their Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), riding on the back of an immense hitting display by Andre Russell. Russell’s 49 off just 19 deliveries coming in the final overs helped KKR chase down the target of 182, and head coach Jacques Kallis was delighted by the Jamaican’s performance.

Before the Russell show, when Nitish Rana came out to open the batting with Chris Lynn, the absence of Sunil Narine had sent shockwaves among the KKR fans. It was later disclosed that Sunil Narine got injured while fielding in the first innings against SRH. Even Rana was unaware of his duties to open after being asked to open the innings with the Queenslander Lynn. 

It was Russell who took everyone’s mind off Narine’s absence. As Kallis puts it, the mood was upbeat in the dressing room even when 53 were required off the last 3 overs with Russell out in the middle. “I have seen him (Russell) go about his business. So as long as he was in there, hitting as well as he was, we were always in with a chance. It needed to be a special knock and it was. I’m happy with the way Gilly (Shubman Gill) played too. He showed a lot of maturity.”

Kallis lauds the KKR bowlers

KKR was also bolstered by a stylish 68 scored from Nitish Rana, who opened the innings after Sunil Narine suffered an injury in the field. “I don’t think the injury is too bad. It’s just a soft tissue and he is a hard guy, I am sure he will be fine,” Kallis was quoted as saying in The Times of India (TOI).

KKR will keep making such unpredictable changes as Rana’s promotion, he added. “We will do a few things which are slightly different so that we can keep the opposition guessing. We got some ideas up our sleeves.”

In spite of a mediocre bowling performance, Kallis reserved some praise for his bowlers, especially IPL debutant Lockie Ferguson. “We bowled pretty well. We could have improved on one-two things but we bowled to a plan and 180 was a par score on that wicket. I am confident about our bowling attack. The way he (Ferguson) went about his business was good for us. We conceded 37 runs in the last four overs, which is magnificent.”

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