IPL 2020: Sunil Gavaskar makes his pick of the "biggest game-changer" in T20 cricket

Gavaskar say it will be interesting to see how Pat Cummins justifies his price tag.

Andre Russell is a key player for the KKR | AFP

Legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has heaped praise on the West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell, describing him as the ‘biggest game-changer’ in the T20 format of the game.

Russell has been a prolific performer for KKR in the last few seasons. The destructive batsman scored 510 runs from 13 innings at a staggering strike rate of 204.81 last year and also picked up 11 wickets while 164.91 has been the all-rounder’s lowest strike rate in the tournament.

He has been among the greatest entertainer in the franchise leagues across the globe including the Indian Premier League (IPL) and KKR mentor David Hussey has already hinted at playing the key cricketer at the top-order to make maximum use of his big-hitting prowess in the upcoming IPL 2020 in the UAE.

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Gavaskar wrote in his column for Sportstar ahead of the IPL 13 opener between MI and CSK in Abu Dhabi on Saturday: “In Andre Russell, the side (KKR) has the biggest game-changer in this format.”

He also mentioned one of the key players of the KKR set-up Pat Cummins who is the IPL’s most costly overseas buy (15.5 crores), saying all eyes will be Australian all-rounder Pat Cummins.

Pat Cummins | TwitterFormer India captain further added, “The Kolkata Knight Riders team has the biggest buy of the last auction in Pat Cummins. On the slow pitches, his pace may not be effective and he will have to look at other varieties to give his team the necessary breakthroughs. He can bat usefully too, but there’s no doubt that most eyes will be on how he lives up to his huge price tag.”

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Commenting on KKR’s new coaching staff led by head coach Brendon McCullum, Gavaskar said: “KKR’s coach Brendon McCullum will encourage the team to play fearless cricket and Eoin Morgan will lend tremendous clout to the top order and his tactical acumen will be a big plus, too.”

He also admitted that IPL 13 being held in front of empty stands will be a different experience for the players, especially for the international stars.

Gavaskar signed off by saying, “It will be a different experience altogether for the players to play in front of nobody apart from their teammates cheering for them and it could take getting used to. Mind you, those who play domestic cricket know what it feels to play in near-empty stadia, but for those internationals who hardly play domestic cricket, it will be a novel experience indeed.”


By Rashmi Nanda - 19 Sep, 2020

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