Narine has scored only 24 runs in three matches so far.
The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) faced the on-song Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Dubai on Wednesday. Having won their respective previous matches, both the teams went with unchanged XIs. Also, Steve Smith, the RR skipper, opted to bowl after winning the toss despite batting first getting favourable results at the venue. And his bowlers didn’t disappoint him and the team bowling to the plan.
For KKR, Sunil Narine and Shubman Gill came out to open. The latter has been in decent touch but his partner hasn’t been able to replicate his earlier heroics with the bat. Narine opening the innings as pinch-hitter was a ploy used to surprise the opposition teams. But KKR has persisted with him at the top despite the teams figuring him out in the previous season itself.
Even then, the team management has backed him to come good this season. But if the story so far is anything to go by, KKR will soon have to think of an alternative to Sunil Narine at the top of the order. After not doing well in the last two games, the Caribbean cricketer got a start against the Royals, thanks to Robin Uthappa dropping him earlier, only to score 15 off 14 balls.
He has scored only 24 runs in three innings and hasn’t been effective with the ball either which has left the fans baffled over KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik’s tactics.
Fans not happy with the team’s strategy
KKR has two talented players sitting on bench in Rahul Tripathi and Tom Banton. They can avoid dropping Sunil Narine and play Tripathi who had a stellar season at the top of the order with the Rising Pune Supargiant (RPS) in 2017. However, since then, neither Royals nor KKR have used him well. The Maharashtra batsman can be a very good option in the powerplay to up the ante and will allow to play Gill his way.
Rather if Narine isn’t doing well with the ball, the team also has Chris Green in the hut or even Banton can be included to open the innings. Even the fans are frustrated with Narine’s failures it seems and are criticising Karthik for his tactics.
Here’s how Twitter reacted after Sunil Narine’s yet another failure:
Many won’t agree but this is why you need to stop with Narine experiment at the top. Get a proper bat. Set up the base and then attack with this middle order. Teams have figured Narine out.
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) September 30, 2020
Narine has been in the Tewatia zone for 3 games. #KKRvRR
— Manya (@CSKian716) September 30, 2020
— Gaurav Singh (@imgksingh) September 30, 2020
— Sumit Bhandari (@SumitBh65207681) September 30, 2020
Ye Sunil Narine apne ghr se bat n ball lata h kya jo use first batting and first bowling milti h
— Anil Sikhwal (@SmjBhai) September 30, 2020
Sunil Narine first batting, first bowling TF is this #KKR
— Pankaj (@Funky_Pankaj) September 30, 2020
— Dheeraj Tiwari (@Dheeraj86636295) September 30, 2020
Sunil Narine is literally living our childhood days.
First batting and first bowling, something we could only do if the bat and ball both are ours.
— Naraaz Ahmed (@boyzpledwell) September 30, 2020
— roshimon (@roshimon1) September 30, 2020
Narine definitely coming down the order now. Have seen enough of him.
— not a Nikhil Naik FC 🔥 (@iKnightRider) September 30, 2020
Feel #KKR are 10 Runs short here Could not get the Push in those Middle overs. But this is IPL2020 you just don’t know what is the right score.
Also need To stop sending Narine at the Top can Get Rahul Tripathi in and Varun/Nagarkoti out.#IPL2020
— Sagar Gala (@sagargala1234) September 30, 2020
— Rohan Simha (@SimhaSays) September 30, 2020
— Rahul ji asath (@AsathJi) September 30, 2020
Why are KKR trying Sunil Narine as an opener, what strategy are KKR trying? What is your opinion experts? #staraikelungal
— Dheekshidhan (@Dheekshidhan1) September 30, 2020
Drop narine next game and bring in a proper batsman
— Zav (@FodenFC) September 30, 2020