HomeCricketWoes Continue To Pile Up For KKR With Sunil...

Woes Continue To Pile Up For KKR With Sunil Narine’s Participation In Doubt

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Kolkata Knight Riders find themselves in a precarious situation given their key foreign recruits are likely to miss the preparations leading to the Indian Premier League 2018. The mega event kicks off from April 7 onwards. KKR have been served one blow after the other and the recent jolt to the management has come in the form of Sunil Narine.
The premier spinner was reported to the Cricket West Indies for illegal bowling action in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).
With only 18 players in their squad, the Knights are sweating over the incidents surrounding their players. The likes of Chris Lynn, Andre Russell and Mitchell Johnson are already nursing injuries with the former duo’s participation in the earlier part of the season have been put in doubt.
KKR cannot afford any of these players miss the IPL 11 with their hopes hanging heavily on their experience. With a limited bench strength, the Dinesh Karthik-led side will have to eye replacements in case anybody misses the bus for the cash-rich tournament.
With most franchises in a better situation regarding players, the preparation camp for KKR has taken a hit. The ‘Eastern Giants’ will be monitoring the players’ progress closely. Narine’s possible ban could add another deafening blow to KKR. So what’s the current situation KKR are in and how did they get to this?
Chris Lynn undergoing rehab
KKR went heavy on Chris Lynn after purchasing the Australian power hitter for a whopping Rs 9.6 crore. The swashbuckling opener is their only star player atop, who can give them the desired start. For Lynn to have a crucial role in the side, he needs to feature in the tourney. That, in turn, isn’t assured as of now.
Although the player learned last month that his dislocated shoulder will not need surgery. He is undergoing rehabilitation and doctors will decide on his availability once they see a positive improvement. The batsman was forced to forfeit the PSL and his hopes hang on the balance. He is set to miss practice games and even if does make a return, his form after a big injury will be in question.
Russell’s calf injury comes at the wrong time
The West Indian all-rounder was suspended for a year for doping violations and returned to competitive cricket last month for Islamabad United in the PSL. After starting to get into the groove for his side, he injured his hamstring and was ruled out for the remainder of the PSL. The player has gone back to West Indies and is recuperating from the calf injury.
His participation in the IPL is in doubt with just three weeks left for the mega event to start. KKR had retained Russell this season with the hope he will be their go-to player and have a big impact with both bat and ball. If he does make a return, he will quickly need to settle in.
Johnson gets the stitches
Injuries come in all shapes and sizes and KKR has learnt that. The legendary Mitchell Johnson suffered a head injury in a chin-up accident during a gym session. Thankfully the grinning cricketer said he is set to make a full recovery after receiving stitches. This, in turn, could at least see him get fine this month itself which will relieve the Knights massively.
Johnson was roped in to help the youngsters besides providing the impetus alongside Mitchell Starc.
What next for Narine?
Narine’s issues with suspect bowling action has been a major disappointment. This has been the third instance when he has been reported for illegal action. He had earlier faced issues in 2014 and 2015 respectively. He has been placed in the warning list and as per rules he can be selected for Lahore Qalandars in the PSL. One more report and he is bound to be suspended.
Narine was retained by KKR this season and the star entity is in a line of fire. He will have to undergo a process that is followed by the CWI for illegal bowling action with the match officials’ report to be sent to the board.
How will KKR cope up?
KKR will need to be ready for identifying replacements if either of Narine, Russell, and Lynn miss the action. There are some interesting options in the market and funds would then open up. KKR at the moment do not have any penny in their account, post the auctions in January 2018. But will the new players have the same effect that the trio possess? Let’s wait and watch!

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