Andre Russell is one of the most dangerous hitters in world cricket and he is the x-factor of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). In IPL 2022, Russell is one of the most important members of the KKR unit and their fans have very high hopes from the dashing West Indian all-rounder.
However, KKR fans are very worried after the match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), as Andre Russell struggled in the middle and there seems to be some problem with his fitness, which, if it turns out to be anything big, can be a huge setback for the Knight Riders.
During KKR’s batting, Andre Russell was looking fit and he smashed some big, trademark strokes and scored 25 runs off 18 balls. He wasn’t able to convert his start into a big total for KKR and they ended up on a modest total of 128 runs.
But, in the bowling department, Andre Russell, who is usually the main wicket-taker for KKR, didn’t look comfortable at all and leaked a lot of runs in a low-scoring game. His run wasn’t swift and he kept bowling lengths that batsmen like to hit in T20 cricket. In his 3.1 overs, Russell conceded 36 runs without taking any wicket.
During his spell, there were times when he fell on the ground and fans thought he has picked up an injury. He was also seen walking gingerly in the middle, indicating that there was some injury concern in the lower-part of his body.
Former New Zealand cricketer and a well-known cricket commentator Simon Doull said that KKR shouldn’t have taken the risk of bowling or even playing Andre Russell, when he was clearly struggling with his fitness.
“You just hope Andre Russell wins you three games with the bat. In this competition, you are asking every player to win 1-2-3 games. So that might be the way forward. He’s just struggling with the ball. And his body has such an enormous muscle. He might be truly over 105-108 kilos; just that enormous mass going through that stress from time to time is not easy. He is an injury waiting to happen, which is a shame because I love watching all of his trades.”
Our view: We agree with Simon Doull because Russell is an integral part of KKR squad and risking an injury in such an early stage of IPL was a very bad move by the KKR management. It was a short-term call which can costly them badly in the long-run.
Featured image source: BCCI/IPL