Kolkata Knight Riders' win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday propelled them into the qualifiers of IPL 2021 and if there is one man who has made all of the Knights clan proud with a sparkling all-round show, it has to be Sunil Narine!
Narine's magical 4/21 with the ball and a cracking 26 off 15 balls, which included three consecutive sixes at a crucial stage, set up the win for KKR.
Talking about the impact the mystery spinner has had on the game, skipper Eoin Morgan said, "I think he was outstanding. Both with the bat and the ball, his impact on the game was huge. He changed the momentum. When he went out to bat, he swung it completely in our favour after the platform the guys had laid at top of the order. With the ball, he bowled as good as I have ever seen him bowl! The guy is consistently exceptional every time he takes the field."
Kolkata's turnaround after a tough first leg of the tournament has been earning rave reviews and Morgan feels it is the team's drive to play an aggressive brand of cricket that has swung the whole momentum.
"The first phase of the tournament, we were still trying to implement Baz's (Brendon McCullum) mantra of trying to play positive, aggressive cricket and a brand of cricket that our fans really enjoy watching and also the players enjoy playing. In the first phase it didn't quite happen. But throughout this whole second phase, people have turned up with a different motivation and drive to play that aggressive brand of cricket," Morgan said.
KKR have been particularly bowling well, keeping most of the oppositions restricted to below-par totals. The batters, in return, have reaped the dividends and taken the team to new heights.
"I think our bowlers have actually shown us the way how to be aggressive with the ball in trying to take wickets and identifying when to hold back and be a little more defensive and that led our way in batting as well," Morgan added.