Advantage even if Narine bowls only straight deliveries: Gambhir

Kolkata: Hailing Sunil Narine for successfully remodelling his bowling action, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir on Tuesday said that if the star spinner even bowled only straight deliveries, it will be an advantage for his team.

Reported for suspect action ahead of the Champions League Twenty20 final last year, Narine was suspended from bowling in all BCCI-organised tournaments. Following a clearance by the Indian cricket board's (BCCI) sub-committee dealing with suspect bowling actions, the mystery spinner will now be playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

"We were always very confident about him and we are very happy for him. He has been an integral part of KKR and hats off to him that he remodelled his action in such a short span of time," Gambhir said ahead of Wednesday's IPL opener against Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens here.

Asked if the spinner would be able to recreate his magic with a remodelled action, Gambhir said, "We will get to see tomorrow whether he would or wouldn't. But he is quality player and a tough guy and all these things will come to his advantage. To make a comeback in such short time shows how mentally tough he is."

With the KKR picking up several spinners, including K.C. Cariappa, Gambhir rubbished suggestions that the franchise had gone for more tweakers as a backup plan for Narine.

"Never, there was never a backup plan for Sunil, because there can't be a backup for Sunil. Even if he bowls straight deliveries, that will be an advantage, that's the kind of aura that he has on the opposition," asserted Gambhir.

"As about picking up spinners, we always wanted to develop young players. Youngsters like Kuldeep Yadav or Cariappa bowling alongside (Brad) Hogg or Narine will help them grow and develop."

Gambhir also emphasised that it was the domestic players that make the difference about the fortunes of a team in the IPL.

"It's the domestic players that make the difference. Majority of the players in a team are Indians and it depends on them how they perform. In this regard we are very solid. We have the likes of Surya Kumar Yadav, Manish Pandey and Robin Uthappa who have been seasoned campaigners. So we have lot of experience from that point of view," said Gambhir.

Talking about rookie leggie Cariappa, Gambhir said his stint with the likes of Narine and Hogg will help him develop as a bowler.

"To be honest, we did not pick Cariappa hoping that he will be a match winner for us. We wanted groom and develop young players. I haven't seen him bowling in a match so we will over the course of time how he shapes up," he said.

The southpaw also refused to comment on Met department's forecast of heavy rains for Wednesday when the defending champion start their campaign against Mumbai Indians.

"We don't want to think about things that are not under your control," he said.

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