Kolkata Knight Riders' off-spinner Sunil Narine conceded that his IPL champion team buckled under pressure in the Champions League Twenty20 after being knocked out of the event in the group stage itself.
KKR were sent packing after their third group match, against Perth Scorchers, was
called off due to rain. The team desperately needed to win the game to remain in the hunt after losing its opening two matches.
Kolkata Knight Riders cricketer Sunil Narine is congratulated by teammates during a Group A match against the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 at the Super Sports Park in Centurion. AFP Photo
"I think there is always pressure once you win a tournament and you go to the next tournament. We were hoping to win this game and somehow qualify. But the guys are still keen on playing their last game. So hopefully, we can give a good performance," said Narine.
The West Indian off-spinner, who picked up five wickets in his three appearances for the team, said he would have been happy to be an average performer in a winning team rather being outstanding in a losing cause.
"It has been pretty decent for me but not good for the team. So, even though I am performing well, the team is more important. So, it would have been better if the team did well and my performance was iffy; then there would have been a lot more success on this tour," he said.
Talking about his game, the 24-year-old ICC's 'Emerging Player of the Year' said he prefers to work on his strengths instead of looking for weaknesses in the opposition camp.
"I don't think too much about the batsman. I only think about my game and what I am capable of doing so hopefully I can continue performing," Narine said.
On the difference in playing on the sub-continental wickets and here, Narine said, "It all depends on the speed and the variation you have. You play according to how the wicket is playing.
"In the sub-continent you get a lot of more a lot more spin; you could loop, you could bowl a little faster. But in the South African conditions you have to bowl more line and length balls. Here you can't afford to miss your line or length or anything because you can go for a boundary."
Asked about his CLT20 experience and sharing the dressing room with senior international players, Narine said he has enjoyed himself at the tournament.
"It has been very good for me coming from IPL to CLT20 and still performing. I am enjoying being part of the Kolkata Knight Riders and hopefully I have a long stint," he said.
"Sharing the dressing room with so many senior players, it says a lot. It makes you comfortable knowing that there are big players on your team and knowing that and anytime they can step up and make your job a lot easier. So, I am going to go on performing and enjoying this."