'Accuracy, extra pace key to Narine's success' - Bayliss
Kolkata Knight Riders' coach Trevor Bayliss has said that Sunil Narine's "accuracy and extra pace" have made him the most successful spinner in the IPL this season. Narine has picked up 21 wickets and is currently the joint leading wicket-taker with Lasith Malinga and Morne Morkel.
"He is one of the mystery spinners," Bayliss told the Telegraph. "That, combined with accuracy and a bit of extra pace, has made him more than a handful. Even if you're lucky to pick the ball he has bowled, there's no guarantee that you'll actually get him away for runs. The more batsmen play, they could pick him better, but Narine has it in him to stay one step ahead. He's such an unbelievable talent."
Bayliss said that he heard about Narine's bowling prowess even before Knight Riders signed him for $700,000 in the player auction in February. "I can't remember who brought up his name first, but I remembered the New South Wales players had been very impressed with him in the Champions League," Bayliss said. "When his name came up, I felt he'd be a good acquisition. As it turns out, Narine has fitted into the group very well and it's a pleasure to see him bowl."
Bayliss said that even though Knight Riders have qualified for the playoffs, they must remain focussed. "A good team effort has taken us forward and the boys have shown a lot of character in some of the really close matches. The Twenty20 game is pretty even, so you've got to keep giving yourself a chance of winning," Bayliss said. "We've lost a few, but still showed character, such an attitude helps. At this stage, though, we aren't looking beyond Saturday's match against the Pune Warriors, because if you get too far ahead of yourself, you could get a nasty surprise."
Bayliss also defended allrounder Yousuf Pathan, who has managed just 138 runs from 13 innings at 15.33. "More than me, I think he's worried himself. But he's been working hard and has taken steps forward. He's doing the right things (before a match), but is going through a phase all players go through," Bayliss said.
He attributed the side's success this season to strong leadership and quality training. "Gautam Gambhir has done a great job as captain. The way he captained [against Mumbai Indians] was sensational," Bayliss said. "The squad is like one big happy family, with people getting along with each other. The boys do the right things at training. We may not be practising for long, but there's quality in what we do. There are no half-measures. Basically, there's a good feeling in the group."