Gautam Gambhir is known as a great leader for the Kolkata franchise in the Indian T20 League. He led them to win two titles during his stint. However, he also brought many quality players into the team during those years. West Indies spinner, Sunil Narine was one of them.
During that time, Narine was known for his mystery spin bowling skills. But, Gambhir took a gamble with him and it paid off massively for the franchise. Regarding that move, Narine hailed this former Indian batter. He showed his gratitude to Gambhir for showing trust in his ability in the rich-vein league.
“I was still new to the role, oppositions didn’t take me that seriously” – Sunil Narine on Gautam Gambhir
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo, Narine said that Gambhir asked him to open the innings for the franchise. He also assured Narine that he can bat freely without thinking too much. Narine also added that the opposition did not take him seriously initially. But, as he continued to perform, his confidence increased.
He said: “Gautam Gambhir asked me to open. He wanted me to get the team off to a fast start, it didn’t matter if I lost my wicket early. Nobody could plan too much for me as I was still new to the role, the opposition didn’t take me that seriously, and I went from strength to strength. The more I performed well, the more confidence the Kolkata franchise had in me and gave me that encouragement,”
He also said that initially, he was a little bit handy with the bat. But later, he focused on more batting practices to enhance his batting abilities. “In the early days of the Indian T20 League and in the West Indies, it was known that I could bat a bit, but with the passing of my dad – he had always wanted me to show the world I could bat, so I gave myself 18 months to work on my batting, practicing more,” Sunil Narine concluded.