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Ishant Sharma says Kings XI Punjab surprised with Sunil Narine opening in IPL

Ishant Sharma said that Kolkata Knight Riders’ move to open the batting with Sunil Narine took Kings XI Punjab by surprise and that dew had made it very difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball.

ipl 2017 Updated: Apr 14, 2017 09:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
IPL 2017,Kolkata Knight Riders,Kings XI Punjab
Ishant Sharma has admitted that Kolkata Knight Riders’ move to open the batting with Sunil Narine took Kings XI Punjab by surprise.(BCCI)

Sunil Narine had opened the batting only once in his career. In the 2016/17 Big Bash League, playing for Melbourne Renegades against Melbourne Stars, the world saw Narine open along with Aaron Finch. In the 2017 Indian Premier League, during the clash against Kings XI Punjab, Narine came out to open the batting along with Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir. (IPL 2017 full coverage)

Ishant Sharma, playing for KXIP, admitted that everyone in the team was surprised by the move. “Glenn Maxwell told me that he (Narine) had opened in the BBL and one did not know what to expect,” he said.

The move to open with Narine paid off rich dividends for Kolkata Knight Riders as they shared a 76-run opening stand off just 34 balls to help the team register an eight-wicket win. Ishant said that the partnership ensured KXIP had no chance. “When you give away 80 runs in six overs, you have no chance of winning even if you score 200,” he said.

The tall fast bowler admitted that dew did make it difficult for KXIP when they started bowling. “When the dew came, the ball came on nicely to the bat. The spinners were finding it difficult to grip the ball in the dew,” Ishant stated.

The eight-wicket loss was Kings XI Punjab’s first defeat in the 2017 IPL and their next match will be against Delhi Daredevils on April 15.

First Published: Apr 14, 2017 09:47 IST