A round-up of IPL-related news on May 29, 2014
Sunil Narine’s economy rate of 5.65 is the best in the IPL. As ably as he contains, the record he holds for the most four-wicket hauls (6) in the league confirms containment is not his only skill. A host of variations have helped him hoodwink most batsmen across three seasons, but the West Indies spinner wonders why his mystery hasn’t been decoded yet.
“Sometimes I am surprised that they already haven’t with all the technology available nowadays,” he told the Hindu. “I do not fear that though, as I only concentrate on working harder and just focus on trying to do my bit as best as I can.
“I do try and be accurate more often as that’s always the key. Variations in this format are always a very good option to have as they have the batsmen guessing.”
His numbers in Tests are well below par. An average over 40 and a strike rate touching 80 contributes to him not being a regular member of the squad. “It’s something I am still trying to learn and understand,” Narine said. “I am sure if I work hard at it and continue to get opportunities I will get better at bowling in that format. Endurance and patience are the key [factors] in Tests.”
Uthappa and Gambhir focused on IPL, not India berths
Robin Uthappa’s upshot in form helped revive a flagging Kolkata Knight Riders campaign and also pressed a case for his ODI return for the Bangladesh tour. This comes on the back of a successful domestic season helping his side Karnataka lift the Ranji, Irani and Deodhar trophies. Despite the good news of his India return, his first priority remained the IPL final he said after Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab in the first qualifier.
“I am happy that my performances have given me a chance to play for my country and I feel proud about that fact,” Uthappa said. “I want to win matches for India and perform my role as an opening batsman to the best of my ability. At this point of time though I am only thinking about the next game in the IPL. I have had a dream of a season, winning almost everything in the domestic circuit, and to top it up with the IPL title would be amazing.”
His Knight Riders captain, Gautam Gambhir, exhibited similar sentiments after being selected as the only reserve batsman for five Tests against England. “I wasn’t thinking too much about my comeback to the Indian team [during the Kings XI game],” he said. “I was focused on the match because it was a very important game for us and a lot was at stake. It is really important for a sportsman to stay in the present and I was trying to do the same.”