Gibson: Narine will be future match-winner

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Wily off-spinner Sunil Narine has been labelled as a “fast learner” and a “match-winner”, and is expected to be one of West Indies’ trump cards on the Bangladesh tour this month.

Narine's entry to Test cricket against England earlier this year was a tame one but head coach Ottis Gibson said since then, the 24-year-old Trinidadian had improved tremendously to adapt to the more stringent demands of Test cricket.

“He’s a very fast learner. When he played his first Test match, it was on the back of very limited first class cricket. He made his name in one-day and T20 cricket,” Gibson told a media conference here.

“Bowling in one-day and T20 cricket is very different to bowling in Test match cricket and he had to learn how to bowl in Test match cricket, how to try and get wickets.

“England, obviously, was an alien environment for him. He wasn’t at his most comfortable. When we came back to the Caribbean we saw the real Narine.

“Wickets in Bangladesh will suit him, they will be some assistance there for him. When the ball is spinning he’s at his best and you saw in the series against New Zealand he started to go around the wicket which again against shows [he’s] learning.”

Narine’s made an unflattering debut in the game’s longest version, going wicket-less in the rain-ravaged third Test in Birmingham back in June.

The right-armer returned to the Caribbean and instantly reaped success against New Zealand, picking up 12 wickets in two Tests and another 13 in the five-match one-day series.

Gibson said he expected Narine’s improvement to continue, especially in Tests.

“We expect him to be a handful for us. He’s a match winner, certainly in the shorter format so far and we believe he will be a match winner in the longer format as well,” Gibson noted.

Captain Darren Sammy echoed Gibson’s sentiments, hedging his bets on Narine to play a major role in Bangladesh.

“The pitches down there will suit him. [They] are similar to the Caribbean, if not more turn,” Sammy said.

“I can see him having a good series but I know everybody is eager to go out there and perform.”

West Indies were scheduled to leave here Saturday for the tour that comprises two Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a single Twenty20, and which runs from November 8 to December 10.

Sun, 11/04/2012 - 12:52