Sunil Narine, center, of Kolkata Knight Riders celebrates with teammates the dismissal of Shaun Marsh of Kings XI Punjab during their IPL cricket match in Kolkata. AP/Bikas Das
The Australians can afford a hearty laugh. At least, they are not the ones dancing to Sunil Narine’s tunes. West Indies, who, till now, were saying Narine didn’t have enough experience to play Tests, might be regretting not giving him a contract.
As luck would have it, West Indies’ loss is Kolkata Knight Riders’ gain. For the next month or so, the 23-year-old Trinidadian will be more than happy to flummox batsmen with his exotic spin on pitches suiting his style of bowling.
The West Indian set the alarm bells ringing with five wickets against the Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, but it's not as if he is new to taking wickets in plenty. Narine forced the spotlight on himself by taking all 10 wickets in a trial match in 2009.
He had not represented Trinidad and Tobago in any form of limited-over cricket but was included in the squad for the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 in India in 2009.
Questions were raised about his bowling action and he had to work with biomechanical experts at the University of Western Australia in Perth to correct it. Kevon Cooper, currently playing for the Rajasthan Royals, was the other player reported along with Narine but was cleared after remedial work.
Narine returned with a new action in the 2011 Champions League where he took 10 wickets at an economy rate of 4.37. The mystery lies in Narine's fingers. Coupled with a high-arm action, most batsmen find it difficult to read him. “I just look to hit the right areas,” Narine said after Sunday's match.
How he makes the ball spin either ways is a mystery. But with a wide array of deliveries he possesses, Narine is a pleasure to watch.