Sunil Narine has scored only 27 runs in four matches as the opener of Kolkata Knight Riders which includes a two-ball duck against Sunrisers Hyderabad and a five-ball three against Dehi Capitals at Sharjah on Saturday. In his last nine IPL games, he hasn’t crossed 25 even once. Veterans of the game have opined that KKR need to rethink about their batting at the top of the lineup, but captain Dinesh Karthik remains unfazed and has in fact put his weight behind the West Indies all-rounder.
“I haven’t thought about it (making the change at the top) but maybe after this game I will sit down with the coaching staff.. We still believe in Narine and whenever he gets going he gets us off to a great start,” said Karthik after KKR’s 18-run defeat.
Narine’s lack of impact at the top of the lineup has subsequently put pressure on the middle order. Saturday’s storyline remained the same. After being dismissed for just three, pressure was on Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana to rebuild at the high-scoring venue. Eventually, KKR fell 16 run short of the target of 229.
“The way the boys batted is something I am really proud of, we kept fighting till the end which is the nature of our team. Really happy with the effort we put in today. Maybe in between 10-13 overs we didn’t get many boundaries, we lost a couple of wickets as well which sets you back in such run chases,” said Karthik.
“To be honest, couple more sixes and we would have crossed the line, we wouldn’t be talking about the lengths. I thought it was a hard wicket to bowl on and the bowlers did a fabulous job, maybe 10 runs too many but its okay.”
With two defeats and two wins in four games, KKR now stand fifth in the points table. They will next play against Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi on October 7.
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