Indian great Sunil Gavaskar has given credit to Kolkata Knight Riders’ mystery spinners – Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy – for the team’s success in the second phase of IPL 2021.
KKR could only manage two wins out of the seven matches they played in the first leg of the tournament.
However, the Eoin Morgan-led team has been able to turn the corner in the UAE leg of the tourney as they have won four out of the six matches they have played. Both Chakravarthy and Narine have played an instrumental role in the success of the franchise as they have kept a stranglehold on the opposition and they have also provided the wickets during the middle overs.
Chakravarthy has scalped 15 wickets in the 13 matches he has played and he has bowled with an impressive economy rate of 6.73. On the other hand, Narine has snared 10 wickets in as many matches and he has bowled with a parsimonious economy rate of 6.42. Thus, both of these mystery spinners have done a magnificent job for Eoin Morgan.
“Kolkata’s strength has been the eight overs of mystery spin they can unleash. While Narine bowls an immaculate line and length and doesn’t give any freebies to the batters, Chakravarthy is more tantalizing in the way he brings forth the wrong prod from the batters as they are unsure which way the ball is going to turn.
“What the duo has shown is that you don’t need to turn the ball a mile, but just a few inches to defeat the middle of the bat and catch the edge,” wrote Sunil Gavaskar in his column for the Times of India.
Meanwhile, KKR will need to win their last match against Rajasthan Royals to qualify for the playoffs. If KKR wins, then it would be almost impossible for defending champions Mumbai Indians to make their way into the last four as the former have a much better NRR (+0.294 as compared to MI’s -0.048).
“Out of the two matches on the penultimate day of the league stage, the match between Kolkata and Rajasthan will be the one that will garner the eyeballs.
“If Kolkata win, they will go through, as it will mean that Mumbai will have to win by margins which are hardly seen in the ultra-short format of the game, and so will out on qualifying. Yes, Mumbai were brilliant against Rajasthan when they restricted them to only 90 and got the runs in a jiffy to improve their net run rate (NRR), but their NRR is still way inferior to Kolkata’s and so all that Kolkata need to do, is just beat Rajasthan,” Sunil Gasvaskar wrote.
KKR will play against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.