Sunil Narine not playing: Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder has been benched for their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
During the 28th match of the ongoing 13th season of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli has won the toss and chose to bat.
“We will bat first. A high scoring ground, the pitch might become slower and slower – scores are coming down in the last couple of games. There’s no grass on the surface, so it can get scuffed up. We’re confident in our bowling, it’s important to execute our plans, Chris Morris was a huge plus,” Kohli said during the toss.
Despite coming on the back of a 37-run victory against Chennai Super Kings, Bangalore have made one change to their Playing XI to adjust well to the short boundaries at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
“One change – [Mohammed] Siraj comes in for [Gurkeerat Singh] Mann, gives us an extra bowling option on a small ground like this,” Kohli added.
Why is Sunil Narine not playing against RCB?
While chasing can be a daunting task in Sharjah, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik sounded unperturbed after being asked to field first by his counterpart in Kohli.
“I’m happy to have lost the toss, might have batted first as well. It’s important that the bowlers believe in themselves, like it happened in the KXIP match where they dominated us for almost 39 overs,” Karthik mentioned.
Much like Royal Challengers, Knight Riders have also made a solitary change to their Playing XI by handing a debut to England opening batsman Tom Banton. “[Tom] Banton is a special player. He’s a superstar in the making. He replaces Sunil Narine,” Karthik added.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 12, 2020
In six IPL 2020 matches, Narine had picked five wickets at an average of 35.60, an economy rate of 8.09 and a strike rate of 26.40 including bowling a match-winning last over in the last match against Kings XI Punjab.
Having said that, his performance isn’t the reason for his ouster. Narine, 32, was reported for a suspect bowling action in the match against KXIP and has been benched for the same despite being “warned” and not “banned”. The development also means that KKR will take the field with one bowling option less in Sharjah tonight.
Tom Banton IPL 2020 Price
It will also be interesting to see if Banton will be sent in to open the batting. Banton, who made his T20I debut during England’s tour of New Zealand last year, has scored 1,093 runs in 39 T20 innings at an average and strike rate of 29.54 and 154.16 respectively.
Banton, who had a base price of INR 1 crore, was bought by Kolkata for INR 1.4 crore in his maiden IPL season.