IPL: Will KKR Persist With Narine as Opener? Shubman Gill Answers

Shubman Gill comments on whether KKR will persist with Sunil Narine as opener.

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IPL
2 min read

After an underwhelming performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year, that saw him pick four wickets in 9 matches, spinner Kuldeep Yadav had been dropped from Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) starting eleven for the rest of the season.

The franchise, however, retained him for the ongoing edition of the league. In their opening game against Mumbai Indians, the chinaman bowler leaked 39 runs in 4 overs and failed to pick up any wickets.

Yadav did not complete his four-over quota in their second game against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday, 26 September. When asked about it in the post-match press conference, Shubman Gill said, “All the other bowlers – Varun, Nagarkoti and Pat – bowled really well and hence the team went with them.”

Will KKR Persist With Narine as Opener?

Opener Shubman's unbeaten 70-run knock along with Eoin Morgan's 42 not out guided KKR to their first win this IPL season against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Chasing a modest 143-run, KKR, baring few hiccups, overhauled the target comfortably, thanks to the unbeaten knocks by Gill and Morgan. After SRH dragged themselves to 142/4 wickets in 20 overs, KKR finished at 145/3 in 18 overs.

“The plan was simple – I was to get set and see my team through. The target wasn’t that big so it was important for me to stay there. As a batting unit, I think we all did well. It is very important for any opener, that if you’re set at the crease, you must see your team through. and that was the plan.”
Shubman Gill

Gill’s fellow opener, however, couldn’t quite make the same mark as him. Narine was caught out by David Warner off a delivery by Khaleel for a duck. In the last match against Mumbai, the West Indies all-rounder had managed to add just 9 runs.

When asked whether or not KKR would be continuing with Narine at the top of the order, Shubman said, “It really isn’t up to me (to decide). Who will open and who will not is a team decision. As of now, I think we’re sticking to Sunil. In the past, he has done a really good job for us.”

‘Pat is a World-Class Bowler’

KKR's record buy Pat Cummins – who was smashed for 49 runs in four overs in the last match – delivered a masterful performance on Saturday, returning with figures of 1/19.

During the Powerplay overs, he gave away four runs in two overs and also picked up the wicket of SRH opener Bairstow.

“Pat is one of the world’s best bowlers and the plan was to start (the bowling attack) with him and Sunil. He is a world class bowler and one odd day doesn’t mean much to us. He bowled really well in this game,” said Shubman.

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