Chennai, May 14 (IANS) Former India all-rounder Yusuf Pathan feels that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) management needs to think over the future of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell in the franchise, especially with the duo not performing at their best consistently.
In IPL 2023, off-spinner Narine has picked only seven wickets in 12 matches, at an economy rate of 8.50, which is the worst for him in an IPL season, apart from falling returns with the bat, resulting in him not being a pinch-hitting opening option anymore.
Russell, meanwhile, has scored only 218 runs in 12 innings at a strike-rate of 150.34. He has taken only seven wickets in 12 matches, at an economy rate of 11.29, the worst for him in participating in the tournament, apart from carrying constant concerns over his bowling fitness.
“We should see how Narine and Russell have performed in the last three years, or how many match-winning performances they have put in with bat or ball. As a team, what do you think?”
“If you want to look ahead to the future and go to the next level, then you should surely think about it because if you look at the last few seasons, their performance hasn’t been as good. As a senior player, there are expectations from you that you would get wickets or runs. If you are not able to do it, then you will have to face the questions,” Pathan was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo, ahead of Kolkata’s match against Chennai Super Kings.
Moreover, Russell turned 35 last month, and Narine will be reaching the same age in a few weeks. Asked if their age could be a reason behind Russell and Narine not being at their best in IPL 2023, Pathan refuted that theory.
“I don’t think age should be a factor, because there are others of similar age who are still playing and are performing well too. Plus, both of them play around the year. I feel if you are playing the entire year, then your body is in good shape.”
“I am not able to figure out what is going wrong. These two are your match-winners, and when your match-winners don’t perform, your team struggles. Perhaps fatigue could be a reason as they play the entire year. Having said that, everyone wants and expects them to do well,” he concluded.