DURBAN – Sunil Narine led Kolkata Knight Riders to the Indian Premier League title in his first season with the franchise this year.
But not even he could help mask their indifferent display in the ongoing Champions League Tournament in South Africa that has seen them crash out of the competition with still one match to play.
The Trinidad and Tobago and West Indies off-spinner conceded that the Knight Riders were under immense pressure going into yesterday’s match against the Perth Scorchers. The match was eventually washed out with Perth on 91/2 after 14 overs leaving both teams to share 2 points each. As a result Kolkata became the first team to be knocked out at the group stages of the tournament.
“I think there is always pressure once you win a tournament and you go to the next tournament. We were hoping to win this game and somehow qualify. But the guys are still keen on playing their last game. So hopefully, we can give a good performance,” Narine said.
The mystery spinner suggested that he would rather be happy being an average performer in a winning team than be outstanding in losing causes.
“It has been pretty decent for me but not good for the team. So, even though I am performing well, the team is more important. So, it would have been better if the team did well and my performance was iffy; then there would have been a lot more success on this tour,” he said.
Talking about his game, Narine said that he preferred to work on his strengths rather than prey on the opponents’ weaknesses.
“I don’t think too much about the batsman. I only think about my game and what I am capable of doing so hopefully I can continue performing,” he said.
The spinner admitted that there was a huge difference in the conditions in South Africa when compared to those of the sub-continent.
“In the sub-continent you get a lot more spin; you could loop, you could bowl a little faster. But in the South African conditions you have to bowl more line and length balls. Here you can’t afford to miss your line or length or anything because you can go for a boundary.”
When asked about his experience of playing in the CLT20 and sharing the dressing room with senior international players, Narine said that it has been a learning curve and he has enjoyed every bit of it.
“It has been very good for me coming from IPL to CLT20 and still performing. I am enjoying being part of the Kolkata Knight Riders and hopefully I have a long stint,” he said.
“Sharing the dressing room with so many senior players, it says a lot. It makes you comfortable knowing that there are big players on your team and knowing that and anytime they can step up and make your job a lot easier. So, I am going to go on performing and enjoying this,” he added.