There is nothing Andre Russell can’t do when his playing for Kolkata Knight Riders. He can come up with a thrilling cameo and can take his side home single-handedly in a matter of minutes. The destructive batsman also possess the ability to score big runs when the situation arises. His strike rate of 204, highest in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is a testament of his batting prowess and endurance.
For Kolkata, Russel has clobbered the ball at a strike rate of over 180 in the last three seasons, but according to former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir there is one bowler who might be able to trouble the talismanic batsman in this upcoming season of IPL.
“There might be two or three of them in the IPL who could trouble him but not beyond that. I don’t see bowlers other than probably someone like Jasprit Bumrah who can actually trouble Andre Russell,” Gambhir said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“Obviously, if you are in great hitting form, quality of cricket and quality of bowling might be different but Andre Russell is a confidence player. If his confidence is high, then the bowling does not matter,” he added.
Meanwhile, KKR has now another fine T20 batsman in the form of Eoin Morgan who can finish games quickly for the team.
“If someone goes in such big-hitting form to the IPL, I want to see how KKR uses him. Because now they have Eoin Morgan as well, who is in great form. So if you have two such international players, who are in great hitting form, left-handed and right-handed, then you can be a little flexible,” he said.
Six balls can change an entire match in T20 cricket: Gambhir
Earlier, KKR mentor David Hussey had said that Russell has the capability to score a double hundred if gets 60 balls to bat, indicating that the team management might be thinking of moving him up the order..
“If it benefits the team and helps us win games of cricket, why not? If that means Andre Russell comes in at three and bats 60 balls, he might actually make a double hundred. Anything can happen with Dre Russ,” David Hussey was quoted as saying by IANS.
Gambhir too endorses the idea of Russell batting higher up in the batting order even as he stressed that the team management needs to make most of Russell-Morgan batting pair.
“KKR should not send Andre Russell below No .5 in the batting order considering the form he is in. And the number should not matter, the overs should matter. Batting position is an overrated thing, six balls can change the entire match in T20 cricket,” the former cricketer said.
“So at times, it is possible, that you have got such a good start, that you can send Russell even ahead of Morgan. It is not necessary to send him after Morgan. You can send him at No. 4 as well, it should be an over-oriented batting line-up rather than saying that you will not send him above No. 5 or No. 6,” Gambhir added.