PORT of SPAIN: He has the ability to single-handedly decimate any batting attack and Sunil Narine is all set to play his 150th game for Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday against Rajasthan Royals. With plenty of variations and remodelled auction, the Trinidadian has been at the forefront of the Knight Riders’ spell in the IPL. Narine was roped in by Kolkata back in 2012. Ten years hence, he remains a spin enforcer in the middle overs. Interestingly, he’s also been a top-order batter and pinch-hitter for the two-time IPL champions.
Ahead of the milestone game in KKR colours, Narine looked back at his 10-year journey with the franchise. He wants to finish his IPL career with the Kolkata outfit.
“Yeah. I have always told Venky [Mysore, CEO] that hopefully, I don’t play for any other franchise. I have loved my stay at KKR, so hopefully, I start and finish here. I think it’s a great achievement. You don’t see many overseas players stay with one franchise. Luckily, I am one of them and hopefully, I can continue to be with them in the future,” Narine said in an interview with the franchise website.
Narine, 34, also recalled his IPL battle with legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Ahead of the Champions League T20 in 2013, the Indian great had requested broadcasters for Narine’s footage from both angles. Narine had bowled a perfect off-spinner to castle Tendulkar on his 40th birthday. It was also his last IPL season with Mumbai Indians.
“It gives you a good feeling knowing that one of the greatest batters to ever play the game wants to focus on you but it shows that he is dedicated and he wants to be on the top of his game and doesn’t want to be surprised when the game comes. I think for any player or youngster coming up, always strive to be the best and work on the fine details,” said Narine.
Narine also spoke about the batter who played him the best in the IPL. He found it tough to bowl against Virender Sehwag, who was among the top batters against spin bowling.
“I will probably have to say Virender Sehwag. I always found it tough because he was a guy who always kept the game going no matter what situation the team was in, he kept batting the way he did,” Narine further added.
Narine and his spin partner Varun Chakravarthy have so far plucked four wickets each in the IPL 2022. The pair will look to make an impact to help Kolkata get its inconsistent campaign back on track. With three wins and three losses, Kolkata are currently sixth in the points table.