Robust built, sheer power and ability to hit the ball out of the park– West Indies’ Andre Russell possesses all the abilities to be a part of the elite list of world-class all-rounders. Russell set the stage of fire and enthralled the audience with his magnificent knocks in the previous edition of the IPL.
While donning the Kolkata Knight Riders jersey, Russell dismantled many bowling line-ups with his explosive approach with the willow. In 14 matches, the Caribbean giant amassed 510 runs at an impressive average of 56.66. One of the best knocks of Russell’s career came against Surnisers Hyderabad, where the right-hander steered KKR to the win with a flurry of sixes.
The SRH bowlers were left hapless in front of Russell’s power-hitting as he smoked them across every part of the ground. With KKR needing 53 runs from the last three overs, SRH looked to be in the driver’s seat. But Russell had other plans as his breathtaking 19-ball-49 propelled KKR to the triumph.
Recalling the encounter, the then SRH skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar heaped praise on Russell’s batting prowess. Bhuvneshwar claimed that luck plays a crucial factor while bowling against Russell as even the West Indian‘s mishits hold the ability to clear the rope.
Russell is a powerful batsman: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
“One thing which matters a lot is the ground you’re playing on. Dimensions of the ground, boundary and all matters a lot. You’re generally aware of the dimensions of the ground before the match, and you have a plan on where to bowl. But Russell is a powerful batsman, even his mishits go for a six, as we saw in the last IPL season,” said Bhuvneshwar in a conversation with Deep Dasgupta on ESPN Cricinfo.
“So somewhere down the line, you hope that he misses one ball. Or that his mistimed shots don’t go over the boundary. These things matter a lot. A lot of bowlers in the last IPL, including me, bowled yorkers on his legs and then one wide outside off to bluff him but he used to hit those balls for a six even while losing balance,” added the pacer.
Bhuvneshar recalled how Russell single-handedly took the game away from the Hyderabad franchise after decimating their bowling in the final three overs.
“I remember the first match of the last IPL, where I was the captain and he scored 52-odd runs in the final three overs. I still remember two-three of his sixes were so long that normal batsmen wouldn’t have managed even after middling the ball,” remembered Bhuvneshwar, who scalped 13 wickets in 15 matches for SRH in the previous IPL.
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