Its Only Cricket had recently hoped that spinner Sunil Narine could have aided the West Indies in England. Well, better late than never. After successfully helping his IPL team the Kolkata Knight Riders win the IPL T20, Sunil Narine will now head to Edgbaston to help his side against England..
West Indies have already lost the three match series and are down 2-0. However, the islanders have to play for pride and get themselves into the winning habit ahead of the T20 and ODI series due to start June 16th. The final test match starts on June 7 and gives Narain some time to rest and also let the English conditions sink in. Narain had been playing in what has been an extremely hot Indian summer, where the wickets are more conducive to spinners. Narain will need some extended time in the nets to get used to the change in weather and also get his line, length and bounce right.
Narine will be replacing Kemar Roach who is going back home to the Caribbean due to a shin injury. Roach is the second bowler from the Windies to be going home this series. Earlier, debutant quickie Shannon Gabriel returned due to back problems and he was replaced by Tino Best.
Roach, easily the pick of the West Indian bowlers, had been carrying the injury with him for a while and the WICB decided to have him sent back to prevent the injury snowballing into something more serious.
The WICB website reported team physiotherapist CJ Clark as saying, “Kemar has been carrying this soreness for the last two matches and, in view of our upcoming schedule, we would like him to have the time to recover and prevent the onset of more serious injury.” The West Indian coach Ottis Gibson admitted that losing Roach for the series was a big loss to the team but they had to make a decision in order to ensure that Roach is fit for the rest of the year. Speaking to a cricket website, Gibson reportedly said, “We still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and we did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period.”
Narine was the star for this team in IPL 5. He took 24 wickets and maintained an amazing T20 economy rate of 5.47 in fifteen games. Having debuted last December, he has played in eight one day internationals and a couple of T20 international matches. However, he is yet to make his test debut.
It is most likely that Narain will make his debut on June 7 in the third and final test match. Shane Shillingford, the other spinner in the side did not made any impression in the second test and Narain, who troubled the best of the players in the IPL will be expected to trouble the English batsman with his ‘mystery deliveries.’
Narine has picked up 14 wickets in his 8 ODIs and has been wicket-less in his T20 international career. Stats and figures seldom reveal the true merit of a player and Narine could well show his IPL tricks on English soil sooner than later.