Knight Riders defends its spinners' performance

Despite a line-up of potent spin bowlers not having enjoyed the most prolific of seasons, Kolkata Knight Riders assistant coach Simon Katich was not too concerned with their performance.

Sunil Narine (centre) and Piyush Chawla have taken 15 wickets between them this season.   -  Vivek Bendre

Kolkata Knight Riders is not too concerned about the way its spinners have performed so far this season.

Even though Knight Riders has a good variety of spinners with a lot of experience, the team is yet to gain the best out of them consistently. Legspinner Piyush Chawla (nine wickets from nine matches), offspinner Sunil Narine (six from six), left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan (three from six) and chinaman bowlers Brad Hogg (four from five) and Kuldeep Yadav (one from one) have a combined contribution of 23 wickets.

However, assistant coach Simon Katich defended the Knight Riders spinners. "I don’t think we are concerned how our spinners have performed. In different times all have played vital roles. Chawla has been bowling beautifully and went through some crucial situations, particularly against Bangalore where he made some crucial breakthroughs. Shakib's economy has been fantastic.

“It is a big thing that Sunil is coming back from his remedial work. That is something we have not taken lightly as well. He is at a stage where he’s gaining confidence every match. And there is Hogg – you expect a lot from him. Unfortunately against the Kings XI, he could not get a wicket after his first ball against Miller (where the ball hit the bails but was unable to dislodge them). Obviously things did not go as per plan for him after that," said Katich, ahead of Knight Riders’ next match against Rising Pune Supergiants, here on Thursday.

Narine likely to feature on Saturday

Asked about Narine’s recovery from a finger injury, which forced the West Indian out for two matches, Katich said, "We are pretty positive he will be fit for Saturday. He is feeling a lot better."

On Shaun Tait replacing injured speedster John Hastings, Katich said, "I am pretty sure he did not play in the Masters Cricket League (MCL). He might have been signed for MCL, but he never played there. There is certainly nothing from our point of view that suggests he cannot play here.

“Hastings is big loss. At the end of tournament, it would have been a risk not having a replacement just in case something happens to our fast bowlers and all of a sudden we are left with no balance in the team.

“He (Tait) had a very good Big Bash season and did well in the Pakistan Super League. He also played a couple of T20Is against India. His form has been pretty good of late. He is an experienced player and has the X-factor to bowl over 145kph. It can be risky but can also reap a lot of rewards.”

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