Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum.(Twitter/KKR)
Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum.(Twitter/KKR)

'He certainly comes into our calculations': KKR head coach Brendon McCullum on spinner Sunil Narine's return in IPL 2021

  • KKR head coach Brendon McCullum said that Sunil Narine will be back in the scheme of things very soon
UPDATED ON APR 19, 2021 12:39 PM IST

West Indies spinner Sunil Narine is yet to feature in IPL 2021 for Kolkata Knight Riders. The right-arm bowler has been a regular member of the side but ever since he was forced to correct his action to prevent sanctions for bowling with an 'illegal action', he just hasn't been the same.

A few seasons back, Narine became an even more important cog of the side when he was promoted up the order to open the batting and provide an explosive start. The gamble failed more often than not.

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In IPL 2020 in the UAE, Narine only played 10 matches, unlike the scenario where he'd be playing all the matches. He scored 120 runs and picked 5 wickets.

KKR head coach Brendon McCullum, after his wards suffered a 38-run defeat to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai on Sunday, said that Narine will be back in the scheme of things very soon. He also revealed that he was not match fit and now that their first combination didn't produce the goods, the management is likely to field fresh legs for the Mumbai leg.

"Sunil Narine stood on the rope before our first game which means he has had an injury where he was not 100 per cent fit. He certainly comes into our calculations, he was touch and go for this game against RCB but we opted for Shakib who has been good for us and he gives us an extra bit of batting. After three games, the guys have played well, we have not got the results, we probably would need some fresh legs for slightly different wickets in Mumbai."

KKR on Sunday failed to chase 205. They got off to a strong start when Varun Chakravarthy picked up two wickets in one over of the first innings. Then, Glenn Maxwell (78) helped RCB motor on with an excellent innings in the middle overs. The finishing touch was provided by AB de Villiers' remarkable 76 as RCB surged to 204/4 in 20 overs.

In response, Shubman Gill started off well with a blistering cameo of 21 before being sent back by a brilliant diving catch from Dan Christian. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi scored 25 and 18, respectively but failed to convert their starts. Yuzvendra Chahal, who hadn't picked up a single wicket this season, bagged two in as many overs to further dent KKR's hopes. Morgan's 29, Shakib's 26, and Russell's 31 went in vain as KKR lost by 38 runs.

"In the past, we have not been made to plan much as Maxwell has not been in top form but it appears, he has come this year with a really refreshed attitude. He is taking the game on, we have seen him being successful in the Big Bash and Australia. He took the game away from us in a crunch situation but if we had our time again, we would have tried few different things," said McCullum.

KKR has now lost two games out of three and they will next take on MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Wednesday.

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