IPL 2020: DK Should Open Instead of Narine for KKR, Says Madan Lal

Sunil Narine has scored just 24 runs off 26 balls opening the batting for Kolkata Knight Riders in this IPL

2 min read
Madan Lal, on a TV programme said that a genuine batsman can give better starts to the KKR innings

Kolkata Knight Riders have started their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign with two wins out of three games. With the help of their trio of Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and some useful contributions from Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins have helped KKR play some good cricket and come out on top.

However, one of their problems still persists – that of opening the partnership, particularly the failure of Sunil Narine. In three games till now, Narine has scored 9 (10), 0 (2) and 15 (14).

Former Cricketer, Madan Lal made an observation on the Sports Tak panel discussion that even though KKR has won two games out of three, Sunil Narine hasn't been able to do the job for which he has been sent up top. He said, he would rather have KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik opening the batting.

"Sunil Narine is not able to play the big hits now. It would be better if Dinesh Karthik himself opens instead of Narine so that his batting order does not go that far back."

He stated the reason for his choice that a specialist batsman at the top of the order with Shubman Gill will be able to provide good starts.

Narine started opening in the Big Bash League 2016-17 edition, where Melbourne Renegades sent him to open the batting. Narine scored 21 runs off 13 balls with a couple of boundaries and a six. Since then teams started using him as a pinch-hitter at the top so that he could score quickfire cameos and take the pressure off the main batsmen. And, for Kolkata Knight Rider, Trinbago Knight Riders, and his national side, West Indies, Narine has made a few handy contributions opening the batting.

However, in this year’s IPL, the tried and tested method has failed three times in a row. The main objective for sending Narine was to get quick runs like 20 off 10 balls or 40 off 25 balls, something like that. But, on pitches in the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where the bowling is stopping and the batsmen have to take their time to settle in and then go for their shots, Narine’s Strike Rate is below 100.

According to Madan Lal, Narine hasn’t served the purpose, for which he was sent to open in the first place.

If KKR has a specialist batsman at the top with Shubman Gill, both can settle in and then go for their shots and not worrying about trying to rebuild after losing a wicket in the Powerplay as it has been the case in all the three matches.

Kolkata Knight Riders will next play the Delhi Capitals in Sharjah, on Saturday, 3 October.

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