West Indian swashbuckling all-rounder Andre Russell has justified Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) decision to retain him by displaying some outstanding performances with both bat and ball in the ongoing 2018 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Russell got some time to manage his feet in the T20 league, as the all-rounder made just 15 off 11 (2 fours and 1 six) in KKR’s tournament opener against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
But then, the big Jamaican returned with a bang, hitting 88 off just 36 balls comprising with 1 boundary and 11 sixes, against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), but his stunning knock went in vain as CSK beat them by 5-wickets.
He failed against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), being dismissed in just five deliveries, but made a strong comeback against the Delhi Daredevils (DD), played a brilliant knock of 41 off 12 balls, hitting 6 deliveries out of the park, to help KKR to beat DD by 71-runs at the Eden Gardens on Monday (16 April).
Speaking in the mid-innings interview on 16 April, Andre, who returned after serving a one-year ban, said he is currently enjoying his game and he loves to play at a big stage.
As per reports in Times Now, Russell told TV presenters, “I love the big stage; I am enjoying the moment, this is what cricket is all about. The mindset was to give me a chance, try and get in, take a couple of balls to settle. This is a very good wicket; we need to make sure that there’s no repeat of the Chennai game, need to make sure we are as tight as possible.”
Meanwhile, Andre also commented on the “Universal Boss” Chris Gayle, who announced his comeback with his blistering knock of 63 off just 33 balls against CSK while playing for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Sunday.
On being asked to pick the bigger six-hitter between him and Gayle, Andre termed his fellow West Indian as the biggest hitter of the ball.
Russell signed off by saying, “It’s tight at the moment (on whether he or Gayle is the bigger hitter), he’s the Universal boss (Gayle), so I give it to him, he has the Midas touch. 200 on the board, any bowler, would like to see so many runs on the board. What happened against CSK is beyond us now, we just had a chat and will try our best not to repeat that.”