Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has slammed Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Sunil Narine for disrupting the dynamics of the side, adding that his skills have been on the wane in the last few years.
Speaking on Star Sports, the cricketer-turned-broadcaster opined that Sunil Narine is not the same bowler that he once was and that he wouldn’t have been much of a threat on a ground as small as Sharjah anyway.
Sunil Narine was cleared to bowl after being reported for chucking during the match against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday but KKR chose to replace him with batsman Tom Banton.
Kevin Pietersen said:
“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...As a spin bowler, he has not spun it properly for 2-3 years.”
Sunil Narine might have the third-best strike rate with the bat (163.65) in the history of the IPL but Pietersen feels the southpaw is better off as a tailender. He continued:
“He is a tailender who bats at the top of the innings. I don’t really like him at the top of the order as a batsman. He comes off with 1 off 10, and that’s not good for the team and the team dynamics... And then the bowlers have found him out in his batting. You bowl him short, he doesn’t like it.”
I am not so sure Sunil Narine’s absence is a massive loss: Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen, who last played in the IPL for Rising Pune Supergiants in 2016, added that worries will creep in if something happens to an impact player like Andre Russell. He said:
“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 same when he is fielding.”
The Kolkata Knight Riders are currently fourth in the IPL 2020 points table, having won 4 of their 7 games played. They will lock horns with defending champions Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi on Friday.Published 13 Oct 2020, 13:00 IST