Wednesday, June 19, 2024

CWI: CPL player spotlight – the “Mystery Man”, Sunil Narine

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Photo Credit: Cricket West Indies

SUNIL NARINE: A bowling sensation and every batsman’s frustration

His talent, matched only by his notorious mohawk hairstyle, has baffled both batters and bowlers over the eight years since Sunil Narine exploded into the international cricket scene. Some may argue that Sunil is a bowler and his batting style of “go hard from ball one” is not his bread and butter but as he’s shown over the last couple seasons both in the IPL and CPL, his batting can turn a match on its head.

His fearless approach to opening the batting for TKR has given them an edge that has forced opponents to rethink their game plans. The 2017 and 2019 editions of the CPL saw Sunil amass 117 runs from 7 matches and 159 runs from 13 matches, which resulted in a strike rate of 167.1 and 137.1 respectively.

His 2019 season was cut short because of a finger injury which has plagued him for most of 2019 and only saw him take the field for the men in red, black and gold, a handful of times.

Sunil Narine burst into the T20 International arena with his right-arm offbreak in 2012 for the West Indies, helping them to win the ICC T20 World Cup, amassing 9 wickets for a never heard of T20 economy rate of 5.6 runs per over. Narine continued this dominance with the ball, as his knuckle ball became his “stock” delivery that batsmen simply could not read, along with the googly. The magician spun his way to the top of the bowling charts and in 2014 was the highest ranked ICC T20 bowler in the world.

Narine became a household name, which caused IPL powerhouse the Kolkata Knightriders to purchase him after his West Indies performance in 2012. He spun KKR to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.

He was not always a KnightRider, as he started his CPL career with the Guyana Amazon Warriors. But in 2017, the Trinidadian returned to his homeland franchise when there was a reshuffle of marquis players in the CPL Draft. Since then, it has been no looking back, as he joined forces with a franchise packed chuck-ah-block with international superstars. Dwayne Bravo captained the team up until 2019 when injury forced him to miss the tournament, but there was no lack of leadership as TKR acquired West Indies whiteball captain Kieron Pollard.

TKR missed out on a fourth title in 2019 when they got knocked out in the semi-finals. 2020 will certainly be different as Sunil Narine is once again available and ready to take the field along with Bravo, Pollard and Lendl Simmons.

Will they be able to take the title in this closed-door tournament? On September 10, 2020, WI would all know.

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