Sport

Ball wizard salutes coach's pep talk

Thursday, July 19, 2012    

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BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC) — Mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine has praised the input of head coach Ottis Gibson, following his five-wicket haul which fired West Indies to a 20-run victory in the final One-Day International against New Zealand on Monday.

In another impressive outing, the right-armer picked up five for 27 from his 10 overs, the all-time best figures by a West Indian against New Zealand and the best ever at Warner Park.

The performance was enough to gain Narine the Man-of-the-Match and Man-of-the-Series honours.

"I spoke to the coach and we looked at a few new ideas about how to attack the batsmen," the 24-year-old revealed.

"He suggested that I could look at some more variety and I went into the nets and worked hard at how I could come from around the wicket and look to get the ball to 'pitch on'.

"As you saw..., it worked wonders as I got wickets from around the wicket... that's something I will definitely work on in the coming weeks."

Narine, who has played just 15 ODIs since making his debut last year, ended the series with 13 wickets at a brilliant average of 11.23 per wicket and an economy rate of a mere 2.92 runs per over.

It was his spell -- two for 20 from 10 overs -- in the last fourth ODI last Saturday that turned the screws on New Zealand and allowed West Indies to come away with a 24-run verdict and a winning 3-1 lead in the series.

"This is my first ODI series win for the West Indies and I'm happy it came at home in front the home supporters... it felt really good that they could celebrate with us," said Narine.

"Today (Monday), I felt calm and relaxed running in to bowl. The ball came out nicely and I felt in control. Again today, the batsmen did a fantastic job to provide us with a score to bowl at. (Dwayne) Bravo held the innings together and at the end Russell played the big shots."

He continued: "I always set out to look for wickets and today I got five so that's very pleasing for me. It sort of put the icing on the cake. We went into the match leading the series 3-1 and we didn't want to give anything away. As I said before, 4-1 looks much better than 3-2 and today we proved that."

Narine will now turn his attention to the upcoming Test series beginning in Antigua in just over a week, where West Indies will be looking to sustain their great form.

And the Trinidadian, who made his Test debut on the tour of England last month, said he was simply looking forward to enjoying his cricket.

"I love playing cricket. I want to come out every day and look to get better than I was the day before. I look forward to putting on my clothes and facing the challenge," Narine said.

"It feels good when you have that confidence and can face each day, each challenge with a positive frame of mind.

"All I basically think about is how I can get better and what more I can do to help the team win. You have to set yourself goals and you have to set a certain standard. You have to look at the team goals and the team plans and play to suit.

"That's my aim in cricket, to get better and to contribute to more victories for the team."

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