In IPL 2019, Andre Russell was an absolute beast with the bat in the death overs. Russell smashed an unbeaten 48 in 13 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad to take KKR to a sensational win from the brinks of a defeat. Russell scored 510 runs in 14 games last year in that edition at an average of 56.66 with a colossal strike rate of 204.81. Overall, he has played 64 IPL games and has a strike rate of 186.41.
It is no surprise that many bowlers do not fancy bowling to Andre Russell in that kind of mood. In IPL 2020, Russell is expected to once again murder the bowling to all parts of the ground after a solid showing with the Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2020. One bowler who is not enjoying bowling to Russell is Kolkata Knight Riders chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav.
Speaking to a TV channel, Kuldeep said, “To be very honest I don’t like to bowl to Andre Russell during the nets sessions because you tend to get scared when he goes for the big one, and sometimes he misses out and it comes straight to you. Difficult to adjust yourself but yeah, if you are bowling to him you get a lot of experience to bowl in death overs or big hitting batsmen. It’s a good experience for me and he’s definitely one of the best T20 players and we’re lucky to have him,” Kuldeep said.
Russell at No.3?
During IPL 2019, one of the major bones of contention for the Kolkata Knight Riders was the question of Andre Russell’s batting. Following the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad which they lost by 10 runs, Russell said the team needed to be flexible. When asked about pushing Russell up the order, Hussey answered in the affirmative.
“Why not? If it benefits the team and wins the team, why not? If Andre Russell comes to bat at No.3 and bats for 60 balls, he might score a double ton! Anything can happen with Dre Russ. He is the heartbeat of the team,” Hussey said.
Kolkata Knight Riders will open their IPL 2020 campaign on September 23 against the Mumbai Indians in Abu Dhabi.