Opinion: Holding Andre Russell Back Was A Big Mistake By KKR

KKR Shouldn’t Hold Andre Russell Back: Kolkata Knight Riders suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of their nemesis, Mumbai Indians who outclassed KKR in every single department. The worst-hit department was the KKR batting line up, with no one in the side standing an iota of a chance against the formidable Mumbai bowling.

Nitish Rana and Dinesh Kartik did build some initial resistance, but it shortly fizzled away with Karthik falling to Rahul Chahar. Now, with the asking rate being over 12, KKR sent in Eoin Morgan to the crease who failed miserably and was scrambling with the bat to piece a few shots together.

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Honestly, the situation looked pretty grim, and the man who could have saved KKR the blushes was still waiting in the dugout. Andre Russell came out at number 6 and the minimal amount of time that is needed for a batsman to turn things around, irrespective of his caliber was not really there. As he kept on missing every ball, the pressure kept on building.

Finally, when Andre Russell tried freeing his arms, Bumrah struck timber. The West Indian muscle-man was KKR’s best batsman in the preceding edition of the fray. Yet, KKR chose to hold him back. Things got rusty after he was compelled to fire as soon as he walked out, considering the tricky ilk of the pitches.

The question that will be bothering everyone is why not allow your best batsman to walk out earlier and give him the deliveries that he needs so that he can inflict more damage on the opposition.

The answer here maybe the fact that he is a pinch-hitter and probably pushing him up the order won’t really do him a fortune of good as in case of a landslide the innings may further slide into a collapse and the slope will be a lot more vertiginous. However, the counter to this question is that, if he faces 40 balls out of his usual 15-20, that 45-50 runs he scores can easily turn into 90-100.

Also with a mammoth total to chase down, if he can start hurling those massive strikes out of the park early, that will also raise the hopes of the team inching closer to the target and will also boost his morale.

Tonight if he could have come instead of Eoin Morgan, maybe he could have found some space for himself and also the time that could have given him the confidence to crack a few of those Russell originals. KKR made countless errors tonight that helped Mumbai’s cause of securing a comfortable victory. Sending Russell that late and deep in the innings was one.

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