By Indranil Majumdar
Chennai (The Telegraph): Sunil Narine has proved to be a match-winner for the Kolkata Knight Riders this season. Often called a mystery spinner, he has picked wickets regularly besides containing the flow of runs.
With 11 wickets in six matches at an economy of 5.45, he’s the third-most successful bowler in IPL-V so far, behind Morne Morkel and Lasith Malinga.
The West Indies off-spinner spoke to The Telegraph on Sunday evening, soon after checking in, at the Taj Coromandel.
The following are excerpts:
If he expected to be so successful
I wouldn’t say I was expecting to be successful, but I was hoping to give a good account of myself. Getting to perform in a tournament like this is probably a cricketer’s dream… I am happy to have proved myself at this level.
Reaction back home
I’ve been in contact with my friends and family back home… They don’t have much expectations but the cricket loving public want me to do well. I just want to concentrate on my abilities, and remember that you can only give your best on any given day.
His reaction after he came to know that he would be playing for KKR
I was back home and with a few of my teammates… Dwayne Bravo was the first to inform me… He said that I had been bought for $700,000. I couldn’t believe it and thought it to be a joke. When he repeated it again, I started to believe what had happened and got very excited.
On playing against Dwayne Bravo on Monday
Playing against a teammate is always a challenge… There’s nothing special about it and my aim will be to be play good cricket.
Bowling on Indian pitches
It has suited me well… Hopefully, I can continue to achieve success.
Biggest match so far
Against Kings XI Punjab, at the Eden… That’s where I got five wickets (5/19), and made my mark. It helped me believe in myself and made me feel comfortable…
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On bowling to Chris Gayle
Bowling to Chris is never easy… But the wicket suited me a little bit… I concentrated on my strengths, and it just happened that it was my day…
Reason behind taking to spin bowling
I started off as a medium-pacer but didn’t get much opportunity. I then decided that I should try bowling spin. I was 17 then… It has continued that way.
If he was inspired by anyone
Probably watching the great Muttiah Muralidharan… The way he goes about his task on the field…
On how he describes his own bowling
I change my pace a lot and bowl one or two different balls. But I just try to do what I am accustomed to… Don’t try to cross my limits and always bowl within my limitations.
Playing alongside some great players at KKR
It has been a great experience being with Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum, Brett Lee, Gautam Gambhir and the other guys… I’ve learnt a lot watching them… The way they prepare before a match and the way they go about their task on the field.
On Sunny Gavaskar terming him a magician
It was a great compliment from a great batsman. A living legend… But it has also increased my responsibility… It means more hard work and dedication. Hopefully I can continue getting wickets.
On why he didn’t play the Tests versus Australia
I don’t wish to answer that…
If it pains him to see the Windies losing the Test series
Yeah, it does, because that is where your dream lies… But I think we gained a lot too. We’re playing better cricket and, hopefully in the future, can go back to being the No.1s.
If he wants to be a specialist in the shorter version
My dream is to play Test cricket. Hopefully, in time to come, I will have a long Test career.
On principal owner Shah Rukh Khan
I haven’t spoken to him personally, but he looks to be a cool person. He’s a team man. At team meetings, he just listens and wishes us the very best.
The one thing he likes about being with KKR
The team spirit… It makes things easier when you are not playing at home.