Sunil Narine’s absence should pave the way for Kuldeep Yadav in Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals IPL 2015 clash
Kuldeep Yadav was a revelation in CLT20 2014 and that he has not yet played an IPL match is astounding to say the least © Getty Images (File Photo)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face off against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 25 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015. With Sunil Narine’s action being under the scanner yet again, KKR have announced that he will not play their next game. Shiamak Unwalla feels that this could be a blessing in disguise, and that KKR should play Kuldeep Yadav.

Sunil Narine has been a far cry from his usual mystifying self so far in IPL 2015. Since being reported in Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014, Narine has been conspicuously off the radar. He was cleared to bowl in IPL 2015, but five matches into the tournament he is again under the microscope.

As a result, he will most likely not participate in Kolkata Knight Riders’ upcoming match against No. 2 side Rajasthan Royals. What this means is that a spinner’s slot will be open in the KKR side. Given that KC Cariappa took a bit of a pounding in his first match, and given how well Kuldeep Yadav bowled in CLT20 2014, it would make a lot of sense for KKR to rope in the Indian left-arm Chinaman in place of Narine.

There is a lot to like about Kuldeep as a bowler. He is something of an unknown commodity by Indian spinners’ standards; he is the first full-time left-arm Chinaman of note India have ever produced. He is unafraid of giving the ball air and inviting the batsmen to hit him. He has enough variations to keep the batsmen on their toes, but he relies on his stock incoming delivery rather than going overboard with the googlies or flippers. Speaking of which, he possesses a googly that few batsmen have managed to pick.

Kuldeep also has form on his side. He recently took five for 17 against Vidarbha in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament 2014-15. Defending only 139, Kuldeep cleaned out the middle and lower order as Vidarbha crashed to 68 all out.

Kuldeep was a revelation in CLT20 2014. That he has not yet played an IPL match is astounding to say the least. KKR paid big money for the mystery spinner Cariappa, but they might want to consider which of their two young Indian spinners to play in the next match. Kuldeep has tremendous potential, a lot of skill, and a bright future. If Kuldeep is given a change and succeeds, Narine’s unfortunate problem could in fact prove to be a blessing in disguise for KKR.

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)