‘There can be no backup for Sunil Narine,’ says Gautam Gambhir

For now, it is all smiles for the reigning champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), as their West Indian mystery spinner Sunil Narine is back to the team after clearing his action in a biomechanical test at Sri Ramachandra Medical Centre (SRMC) in Chennai. Narine has been a prominent performer for KKR since his drafting and is now raring to go for the eighth edition of Indian Premiere League (IPL) which starts from April 8.

The West Indian has now got full support from his KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir who termed him as an asset and said there cannot be any replacement for the mystery bowler.

“He’s an integral part of KKR, he will always be an integral part Even if he bowls a straight ball, he will be an asset for us and will always remain an asset. That’s the confidence we have on Sunil (Narine). We never thought that we needed a back-up spinner for him,” Gambhir was quoted in a report from Press Trust of India (PTI).

“There can never be a backup for Sunil. I always maintain even if he bowls a straight bowl it will be an advantage. That’s the aura he has had on the opposition over the last three years,” he added.

Narine was reported for suspect action in last season’s Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) and went on to miss the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. But, the KKR captain was always optimistic to get the spinner back with a remodelled action.

“He was pretty confident as well. I’m happy for him. Hats off to him that he’s changed his action in such a short span of time. I’m very happy for him, having known the success he has achieved for KKR,” the left-handed batsman said.

“He’s a quality player, a quality individual and a tough guy. All these things will come to his advantage. In such situations, first you need to be tough mentally to absorb whatever has happened and come back strong. He has showed how mentally tough he’s in the past,” he concluded.

KKR play their inaugural game of this season’s IPL against Mumbai Indians (MI) at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on April 8.