IPL

'KKR can do without Narine' - former England captain Pietersen insists spinner hasn't been at best for years

By Sports Desk October 13, 2020

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen believes the Kolkata Knight Riders could well afford to do without Sunil Narine, should he be suspended, as the spinner does not have the same impact as in years gone by.

The 32-years-old West Indies bowler does indeed face the threat of suspension after being reported for a suspect action during KKR’s victory over Kings XI Punjab last week.  The spinner is allowed to continue bowling, for now, but another report to the Indian Premier League (IPL) would see Narine suspended until cleared by the BCCI Suspect Bowling Action Committee.

Narine had performed heroics for KKR after defending 14 runs off the final over, to help his team register a stunning 2 runs victory over KXIP.  Despite that, however, Pietersen insists the bowler has not quite been at the same level since his last suspension.  Narine was previously suspended in 2015 when he was ranked No. 2 on the ODI and T20 rankings.  His action was reported as suspect in successive matches during the Champions League Twenty20.  It resulted in his missing out on playing in the final for Kolkata Knight Riders, who lost to Chennai Super Kings.

“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,” Pietersen said on Star Sports.

“Sunil 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,” Pietersen added.

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