Spinner Sunil Narine’s absence from Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) latest IPL 2020 contest against Royal Challenges Bangalore (RCB) was felt by many, especially after his suspect bowling action news, but it was not the case for Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen reckons that Narine’s skills have been on the wane and that he is no longer the player he once was. Narine has been with the franchise since 2012 and has won the tournament twice with KKR.
However, the KKR didn’t pick Narine for the 28th game of the ongoing IPL 13 and unfortunately, the franchise suffered a massive 82-run defeat at the hands of RCB and many fans felt the absence of the all-rounder played a role in the loss but Pietersen doesn’t think it was a “massive loss”.
The Englishman further went on to claim that Narine has not been the same bowler for a few years now and even he hasn’t had his real big spin so his absence isn’t really making much difference for the KKR.
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The IPL commentator wasn’t also impressed with KKR’s strategy to play Narine at the top of the order as he felt he is a tailender, not an opening material literally in the ongoing IPL 2020, saying Andre Russell is a much better option than Sunil for KKR in the IPL 2020.
Pietersen said on Star Sports: “If I am honest, I am not so sure it (Sunil Narine absence) is a massive loss. Andre Russell is the guy you spend time talking about in team meetings. When he bowls, you are thinking about it. When he bats, you are thinking about it. It is the same when he is fielding.”
He further explained, “Narine has not been the same bowler for a few years now. He hasn’t had his best; he hasn’t had his real big spin. Coming to Sharjah, it is not something you are really worried about Sunil Narine. And then the bowlers have found him out in his batting. You bowl him short; he doesn’t like it.”
Kevin signed off by saying, “He is a tailender who bats at the top of the innings. I don’t really like him at the top of the order as a batsman. He comes off with 1 off 10, and that’s not good for the team and the team dynamics. As a spin bowler, he has not spun it properly for 2-3 years.”