Kolkata: His shoes a shocking red, it was almost as if Sunil Narine wanted to take the glare of attention away from the arm that has delivered magic for two-time Indian Premier League champs Kolkata Knight Riders time and again.
KKR spinner Sunil Narine during a practice session at Eden Gardens yesterday. Pic/PTI
But then, as the West Indian mystery spinner with that hoppy run-up rolled his arm at the Eden Gardens yesterday, there was no escaping the intense scrutiny from the terraces.
Former players joined the media in trying to figure out what had changed with KKR's most potent weapon, particularly on the sluggish wickets they have presented at their home ground.
In what was his first outdoor nets after being cleared by BCCI's bowling action committee, Narine appeared almost self-conscious about his bowling arm. It couldn't have been straighter!
While Narine bowled for close to an hour at the nets, and nothing seemed amiss, the real test will be in match situation, which comes up tomorrow when the defending champions take on 2013 champs Mumbai Indians. While he rectified his action, did he lose potency?
Interestingly, KKR have roped in another mystery bowler in KC Cariappa. The Karnataka 21-year-old's top-arm action has uncanny resemblance to Narine's action even as the run-up is a trifle more trotty. The two bowled in tandem at a net.
KKR have always had a thing for mystery bowlers with the then little known Ajantha Mendis in their ranks in the very first IPL. Ironically, he was hardly utilised, before bursting onto the scene later by tormenting Dhoni and Co. in a series in Sri Lanka.
Mendis was demystified soon enough and hammered into oblivion. Gautam Gambhir & Co will be hoping Narine remains the enigma he has always been for opposing batsmen.