Dubai: Sunil Narine’s bowling action, an old bugbear for Kolkata Knight Riders, came back to haunt him as the in-form team braced to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
The senior myster spinner from West Indies and an architect behind KKR’s many a success over the past decade, was reported by the umpires during their edge-of-the-seat win against Kings XI Punjab in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
“The report was made by the on-field umpires according to the IPL’s suspected illegal bowling action policy,” IPL said in a statement. He has been put on a ‘warning list,’ but can continue to bowl in the IPL till reported again.
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The bowling allrounder was reported twice during the now-defunct Champions League T20 in 2014, following which Narine remodelled his action but the problem surfaced intermittently. He was subsequently reported again in the 2015 IPL and also after a One day International against Sri Lanka that year.
He was reported again during the 2018 Pakistan Super League before being cleared to bowl and it would be interesting to see if Narine in fielded by the team management against an upbeat Virat Kohli & Co at the smaller venue of Sharjah - always a challenging one for the bowlers.
It was virtually a single-handed batting effort from the Indian captain, with a late cameo by young allrounder Shivam Dube, which took RCB to a 160-plus total on Saturday. Aaron Finch looked short on confidence while AB de Villiers failed to open his account - and the team management will surely want them to fire against the resilient Knights.
Lauding Kohli’s enterprising innings of 90 against Chennai Super Kings, Mike Hesson, RCB’s Director of Cricket said: “A couple of partnerships at the other end but we saw Virat at his very best, that was an outstanding innings. It shows the value of having a set batsman, we have always talked about one of our top four being there to own those last five overs. It just showed what a class player Virat is. There is a lot of class there,” Hesson said in a video posted on the team’s official Twitter handle.
RCB’s head coach Simon Katich also praised skipper Kohli for standing up for the team when it was most required. He also said that the wicket was a bit slower so a score around 170 was competitive enough.
“Virat stood up when we needed him the most, we knew the wicket was a bit slower as compared to the previous ones, so getting to 160 odd was a magnificent effort and Virat deserves a lot of effort not for his class and also the support he got at the other end from Sundar and Dube,” Katich said.
Catch the match
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Start: 6 pm UAE
Live telecast on Bein Sports