IPL 2017: We can continue with same opening combination if it works, says Gautam Gambhir

IPL 2017: We can continue with same opening combination if it works, says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine together stitched a partnership of 76 runs for the first wicket where Narine smacked 37 off 18 deliveries.

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The encounter between Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab in Kolkata became a one-sided affair when Gautam Gambhir smashed yet another IPL half century to anchor his team to a 8-wicket win. Gambhir scored an unbeaten 72 during the course but what came as a surprise to many was KKR opting Sunil Narine as Gambhir’s opening partner.
Gambhir and Narine together stitched a partnership of 76 runs for the first wicket where Narine smacked 37 off 18 deliveries including three maximums. While talking to IPL website, Gambhir revealed that how Narine’s batting removed pressure from his shoulders and hailed the knock played by the West Indian player.
“I really enjoyed it as I said it takes a lot of pressure off my shoulder as well because I knew that there was someone who is going to really go hard on each and every delivery so it really helps me keep rotating and just try batting as long as I can because I know there is Sunil (Narine) and after Sunil there is Robin (Uthappa) who can play the ball well and Manish (Pandey) as well. All these guys are attacking players so obviously having someone like Sunil is a luxury because someone with his quality of bowling with someone who can hit a long ball. If it keeps coming it is going to be great advantage for us.”
When asked about continuing with the same opening combination, Gambhir looked positive about the fact and the way the two left-handed batsmen came up with the opening stand.
“If it keeps working, obviously yes as it just lengthens our batting order as well. It just gives him the freedom to go out there and go as hard as he can because as I just mentioned he has got 9-10 people to follow. Someone who is batting at number 9 has hardly has a luxury to go hard specially when you are batting at number 8. You know there are only two or three batters left so I think in top order if it keeps working it is going to be great advantage for us.”
Praising Narine’s batting display, Gambhir emphasized on taking tips from the Caribbean player about hitting long sixes.
“I think this should be other way round as well. Some of the batters should be really proud of the way he played. So, I need to take tips from him how to hit big sixes.”
While skipper Gautam Gambhir was in all praise of his new opening partner, Narine too didn’t leave a chance to appreciate the kind of game play he has shown in the IPL.
“Every time you come here you see Gambhir top run-scorers for KKR and even close to the Orange cap so watching him bat always gives you confidence and makes the wicket as it is not doing much. I think it’s a good team spirit, team effort and hopefully we continue winning games.”

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