IPL 2023: X-Factor of Kolkata Knight Riders

image-lfkr2w1pKolkata Knight Riders (Source: iplt20.com)

To the delight of the cricket fans across the globe, the sixteenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is banging on the doors. All teams are gearing up for the biggest carnival of franchise cricket and it is a no brainer that they possess some names who can turn the tide of a the match on their own will.

Does the two-time champions have such an asset in their side? Two-time champions? Yeah, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). It's been nine long years since the side gifted their fanbase with a trophy. So, who could be their exponential factor? Let us find out.

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Through the pages of Physics and Maths, we've learned about 'k' as the constant. In a similar way, KKR had a decade long constant X Factor in their community. The name is Sunil Philip Narine. He was a part of the 2012 and 2014 year when the Kolkata-based franchise clinched the silverware and had an upper hand in their triumph.

Again the Same Old Sunil Narine?

Yes, Old is Gold and so do Narine is for KKR. Once regarded as a mystery spinner, the 34-year-old is currently more of a perfectionist. You won't see the sharp turns or the drifters anymore. Instead you will get to see more tight lines, three centimeter turns, across or into the batter. Some will skid, some will stick to the surface and come late with the needed turn to challenge the edges of the willow. In addition, the arm will come from behind the body which is nothing short of an ambush for the one facing the threat.

Well, this was just about Narine and his primary role. But the Trinidad-based gentleman has evolved with the bat in hand as well. The southpaw can open the innings for you, he can pinch hit lower down the order, and if needed cn act as the floater in the batting order. 

Sunil Narine's T20 Career

One of the prominent names in the history of IPL, Sunil Narine produced 152 wickets in 148 matches. He came into the limelight in 2012 after snapping a fifer against the Kings XI Punjab. The all-rounder was one of the prime reason behind West Indies' ICC T20 World Cup triumph in 2012. 

Despite several allegations against his bowling action, the Trinidad-born went through remodification and sacrificed time, tournament and special moments to hit back strong at the critics.

  • If KKR requires an opener, there is Sunil Narine. 
  • If KKR requires a middle-order batter to boost the run-rate, there is Sunil Narine.
  • If KKR requires a finisher to play cameos, there is Sunil Narine.
  • If KKR requires someone to operate the middle phases of the over, there is Sunil Narine.
  • If KKR needs someone to control the run-scoring flow, there is Sunil Narine.
  • If KKR needs to break partnerships, there is Sunil Narine.

The guy who was known to be a mystery spinner has revamped into a pinch-hitting all-rounder who could bat anywhere in the order. Narine's 105 runs stand with Chris Lynn against RCB in 2017 is still the history of IPL.

In 2017, the Caribbean based cricketer produced 502 runs at a strike rate of over 150 across five T20 leagues and in T20Is. He has been in good rhythym during the 2023 International League T20 and 2023 Bangladesh Premier League and will be high on morale.

Narine in IPL:

Number of three-fers: 14
Number of four-fors: 8
Number of fifers: 1

X-Factor Score: Sunil Narine

Powerplay Batting Efficiency: 15.51
Middle-Over Batting Efficiency: 11.84
Death-Overs Batting Efficiency: 14.40

Batting Efficiency Score: 41.75

Powerplay Bowling Efficiency: 13.56
Middle-Over Bowling Efficiency: 10.24
Death-Overs Bowling Efficiency: 15.66

Bowling Efficiency Score: 39.46