“Gautam Gambhir asked me to open”

Sunil Narine won two IPL titles with KKR and was a mainstay in the franchise.

Sunil Narine and Gautam Gambhir. (Image source: Getty Images)

West Indies globetrotting veteran Sunil Narine praised the former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir for promoting him as the franchise opening hitter in the 2017 IPL season.

Sunil Narine had a breakthrough season for the Kolkata-based franchise in his debut season in 2012, scalping 24 wickets in 15 appearances in less than six more runs, and played a pivotal role in securing the club’s maiden triumph. team in the cash-rich league. But the mysterious spinner redefined himself in the 2017 season after being asked to open the bat by Gautam Gambhir, scoring 224 points at an astonishing strike rate of 172.30.

The following season, he further enhanced his reputation by scoring 357 runs in 16 appearances, confusing bowlers with a strike rate of 189.89. The southpaw credited Gambhir with showing immense self-confidence, which led to a boost in confidence, leading to better performances with the bat.

“Gautam Gambhir asked me to open. He wanted me to get the team started quickly; it didn’t matter if I lost my wicket early. No one could plan too much for me as I was still new to the role, the opposition didn’t take me seriously and I got better and better. The better I performed, the more KKR believed in me and encouraged me,” Narine told Cricket Monthly.

Sunil Narine remains one of the most wanted T20 players in the world

At Narine the power hitting abilities at the top of the command have been exploited by multiple franchises. Following his impressive opening outings for KKR, he was also dispatched top of the table by the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL).

The Trinidadian contributed with a decent outing with the bat in the recently concluded T20 Blast for Surrey while his bowling remained calm. The 34-year-old scored 3196 runs in 419 T20 games at a healthy strike rate of 148.23 with 13 half-centuries and 452 wickets to go with his name.

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