Wasim Akram backs 'exceptional' Sunil Narine

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Kolkata, May 5: With questions being raised over Sunil Narine's action again, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowling coach Wasim Akram has said the mystery spinner will bounce back from the rough patch and the defending champions are in need of his services in their ongoing IPL cricket campaign.

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Coming clean after a rehabilitation program post being called for chucking in last year's Champions League T20, Narine was was once called for a suspect action in this IPL edition and subsequently barred from bowling the off-spinner. Akram insists things will soon fall into place for the champion spinner.

File photo of Sunil Narine

"He is a hard working guy and I am sure everything will go well for him. KKR need him. Narine has been exceptional for KKR. He bowled us to the championship in 2012, and he contributed immensely last season," the legendary Pakistani pacer told reporters at DPS North Kolkata, here today.

Giving an update on his retest for the offspin delivery, Akram said: "We are expecting the report on Narine in the next couple of days, which would decide his fate."

KKR have managed beautifully without their ace spinner, who was instrumental in the Kolkata-based franchise winning the trophy last season, as his replacement in Australian chinaman bowler Brad Hogg has claimed eight wickets in four matches with an economy o 6.21. Akram gave credit to KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir to ring in the change successfully.

"The credit goes to Gambhir for being constantly in search for a mystery spinner. A mystery spinner is one whose ball you can't pick easily. Hogg surely has filled in Narine's shoes perfectly. This is what Narine has been doing and that is exactly what Hogg is doing."

The Sultan of Swing also showered praise on speedster Umesh Yadav, whose twin blow in the first over including that of David Warner helped KKR thrash Sunrisers Hyderabad by 35 runs.

"He bowled a dream delivery to dismiss Warner. That was just unplayable. He was the game changer yesterday by dismissing one of the best hitters of the game," said Akram.

"He is very consistent and hard working. He has got pace, he is a quick learner and will do well for India for long time," he added.

KKR's Proteas pace import Morne Morkel has missed out on five previous matches but Akram does not read much into it.

"There is no injury to Morkel. We rested him for a few games, it is a long tournament and we need to preserve our bowlers. He has pace, bounce and certainly our main bowler and a force to reckon. He is definitely in the picture for sure."

PTI

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