We're determined to reach the final - Sunil Narine
Guyana off-spinner Sunil Narine has voiced his team's intentions of making it to the final of the 2015 Caribbean Premier League (CPL) after having missed out in the previous two years.
The 27-year-old feels that Guyana are well prepared this time to go the distance in the ongoing CPL season.
“The guys have been really determined to do well,” said Narine.
“Last two years, we couldn’t make the finals and so we are eager to achieve it this time.”
Saturday’s eliminator will see Guyana take on Trinidad with the winner going through to the final and Narine feels that his team holds a slight edge after Tuesday’s victory.
However, Narine is well aware of the nuances of a high-pressure knockout game and doesn’t want his team to be complacent.
“I think beating them in the last game has given us a bonus.
“But it depends on who plays the better cricket on the day.”
After a ragged start to the CPL season, Guyana found their winning ways at the back end of the tournament mainly due to their home games, which were scheduled in the latter stages.
While admitting the inconsistent performances of his side, Narine insisted that a good end to the league stages has given Guyana the proper platform heading into the crunch games.
“I think if you have to choose a good start or a perfect ending, you’d obviously choose ending.
“Getting our home games seemed good for us at the end.
“You always want to start well but I think we’ve built some good momentum at the right time.”
Despite being a Trinidadian playing for Guyana, Narine doesn’t feel that it will affect his popularity at his home ground at Queen’s Park Oval on Saturday, when the two teams face off for the big game.
Apart from Narine, Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin are the other Trinidad players in the Guyana team for the CPL, but the off-spinner feels that they will be getting ample crowd support despite playing against their home team.
“I think we had two years to get accustomed to playing for Guyana against Trinidad especially in my home ground.
“At the end of the day, its cricket you are playing and you need to do your job.
“Doing it in front of people who love your cricket is nice and they will support you.
“They’d surely support Trinidad 100% but you’ll also get your support.”
The previous seasons may not have ended well for Guyana but Narine is unfazed by the ghosts of the past.
The wily off-spinner stressed on the importance of looking ahead to the future positively and believes that Guyana can rectify their past mistakes this time around.
“You think about previous performances but we need to keep that aside and focus on the future.
“We have a game against Trinidad coming up. We have to take it one step at a time.
“We need to give it 100% in whatever we do first to start well.
“Trinidad are playing some good cricket at home and so we need to be at our best.
“But we have similar bowling attacks, so it should be a good game.”
Having played all his cricket at the Queen’s Park Oval over the years, Narine is well versed with the possible nature of the track that they will be playing on Saturday.
Although Narine knows that the tracks in Trinidad have extra bounce in them, he still expects the track to suit Guyana’s spinners.
“I think the difference in the pitches here is that you get a little more bounce.
“Generally you still get the ball to spin.
“Depending on whatever pitch we get, it should help our spinners if we can put it in the right areas.”
Ever since his action came under scrutiny last year, Narine’s career has been a mixed bag with him missing the World Cup campaign this year and then having a very disappointing season in the Indian Premier League with the remodeled action.
The ongoing CPL season has been comparatively a good one for Narine who is the third highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 13 scalps from nine matches.
The remodeled action is taking time to settle for Narine but he is confident of mastering it completely at the earliest.
“I’ve been through a rough patch.
“But I think I’ve been coming closer and closer to my best.
“I hope to continue building on my game and the tournament so far has been good for me.
“I’ve been working on my bowling and it’s not a 100% yet but it should be well soon.”
Narine feels that the late addition of South African imports David Wiese and Marchant de Lange has infused positive energy to the side.
While lauding the duo’s performances, Narine also heaped praises on the other foreign players in the side who he feels have contribute massively to Guyana’s success in the CPL.
“I think Wiese came in and from the word go he has been good for us.
“De Lange with the pace he has, has been a boost for us.
“Our guys have ensured that they welcome the foreign players well into the team environment.
“All the overseas players especially guys like Akmal and Hodge who have enough experience in T20s have done a great job to the team.”
With the World T20 due to be held in India next year, Narine is confident that West Indies can be a strong force in the competition.
Although Narine hasn’t donned national colors for almost a year now, he believes that West Indies have the potential to succeed especially in the shortest format of the game.
“I haven’t played West Indies cricket for a while.
“I think we have the right team for the shorter formats particularly T20s.
“If you look at the T20 tournaments across the globe, West Indians are always there.
“So, it’s about striking the right form as a team and we would be a team to reckon with in the tournament.”
Narine’s last appearance for West Indies was the Twenty20 International against Bangladesh at Basseterre in August 2014.
Sunil Narine is playing for the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League. The Biggest Party in Sport runs from 20th June to 26th July.
© Cricket World 2015