Pune: He comes from a region that is famous for producing terrorising fast bowlers, his father named him after the great Sunil Gavaskar, but eventually he picked up his own destiny. And what a good choice it has been, till date, that of being a spin bowler. That's Sunil Narine for you.
The 23-year-old Trinidadian has bamboozled some of the best batsmen in the world in this season's Indian Premier League, but none better than Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who had no clue how Narine’s vicious off-spin went through his defence, to knock back his middle stump last week. No wonder, he has taken 24 wickets in the league stage of IPL 5, justifying an eyebrow-raising $700,000 amount that Shah Rukh Khan paid to get the offie in his KKR side at the IPL 2012 auction.
For many, the major problem has been picking Narine off the hand, which effectively gives the batsman very less time for their shot selection.
They say, the way Sehwag bats, can’t be taught. Probably the same can be said about the way Narine bowls, a point that the West Indian seconds. “I have learnt this art from my own practice, I don’t have any particular mentor,” Narine told MiD DAY. “I have worked really hard on my bowling to develop this style.”
And that includes working with bio-mechanics after his original action was questioned by authorities in 2011. Narine went back to the drawing board, and came back with a more high-arm action now, which has made him even more effective.
Till now, almost every batsman has struggled to solve the mystery called Sunil Narine. But it’s just a matter of time before it is solved, believes Pune Warriors India skipper Sourav Ganguly. “People will sort him out, eventually. Look at what happened to Ajantha Mendis,” the Bengal batsman said.
However, that is not something that Narine is particularly worried about, at this stage of his career. “I just want to focus on bowling well, bowling as accurately as I can. It does not worry me, whether batsman start reading me or not,” Narine, who has played eight ODIs for the West Indies, explained.
It’s difficult to say when, and if, the Narine mystery would be solved, but one thing is for sure. Narine’s next assignment, which is the ODI series against England in England, is definitely not the place where the mystery can be solved. Period!