Sunil Narine is one cricketer whose bowling action has been in news more than him. The Trinidadian was first reported for an illegal bowling action in The Champions Trophy 2014. Ever since, he has been trying to settle down to an action that is permitted all around the world.
The most recent allegation on him was in the IPL 2020 where he was reported in a match against the Kings XI Punjab. The mystery spinner had to take a break and miss a few matches to come back with a corrected action. One more warning could have resulted in him being suspended from bowling in the league.
However, the reason for writing this article remains the value that Sunil Narine brings to the Kolkata Knight Riders or any team he plays for, for that matter.
The very first match Sunil played against the Delhi Capitals after his comeback this league, he did not bowl too well. But what he did amazingly well was hitting boundaries. The all-rounder hit 64 runs with a strike rate of 200. When he was sent at no. 5 before the skipper Morgan, it seemed like a dumb move. However, Narine played well enough to prove us dumb.
He took on the spinners from the very first ball and backed his strength too put up a massive partnership with Nitish rana. This partnership led to KKR winning the match by 59 runs.
Sunil Narine- The Batsman
Now, we all know the hitting capabilities of Narine very well and opening the batting with him was actually former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir’s idea. The mystery-spinner has hit 4 half-centuries in the IPL. However, previously, he was sent just to make the most out of the powerplay overs.
Now, after revising his action, it is quite evident he is not the same bowler anymore. So, Narine smartly started to work on his batting and has found success in it too. He now plays more calculatedly and takes on both spinners and pace bowlers.
The point here is that Narine now adds extra value to the team. Even if he does not bowl for some reason (Most Probably his action), that does not hamper his position in the team. He could still be picked in the team for his batting skills if he continues to play innings like these.