IPL 2017: Russell’s Absence Should Not Put Us On Backfoot: Yusuf Pathan
Bowling has always been Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) strength and the two-times champions have bolstered it further by buying some quality bowlers in this year’s players auction. The KKR management picked up England’s Chris Woakes, New Zealand’s Trent Boult, Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile and highly-rated Caribbean all-rounder Rovman Powell.
They already have the likes of Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Piyush Chawla, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Kuldeep Yadav in their ranks and so there is no doubt that the team management will have plenty to think about when they sit down to pick the best eleven. And senior all-rounder Yusuf Pathan had admitted the fact that the team is yet to decide on their final eleven.
“It will be a tough selection. We have a lot of variety in our bowling. There’s depth in batting, we have a lot of all-rounders. We will see how we combine as a team,” Pathan told reporters on the sidelines of their training session at the Eden Gardens.
The 34-year old also praised Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav for their brilliant performances for India.
“Kuldeep has a bright future. He made a great debut. Also, Umesh has done well the whole season. He’s doing well with the new ball… We have quality in (pace) bowling which we were lacking earlier,” the all-rounder said.
He further said that the absence of West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell will not be a big blow for his team. Admitting that the team will miss the services of the big-hitting Caribbean star, Pathan said that the other players would have to live up the challenge of filling the large void left by Russell.
“This (Russell’s absence) does not put us on back-foot. He has done well for the team. He brings an air of positivity to the changing room. We will definitely miss him. But there are other players, who will have to live up to the challenge. We are focussed on that,” he said.
KKR kick off their campaign away from home against Gujarat Lions on April 7 but Pathan is not too worried about starting the season on the away ground.
“I don’t think it’s a disadvantage. It’s good that we’re playing away. There won’t be much pressure of playing at home. Besides, we know the conditions well with 10 years into IPL. I don’t think it will make much of a difference,” he said.
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