Chennai Super Kings head coach Stephen Fleming conceded that focusing too much on someone like Andre Russell might well backfire for the Chennai Super Kings as Kolkata Knight Riders have a few great batters in their line-up who can also change the complexion of the match apart from Andre Russell. There is certainly no doubt about the fact that Andre Russell has been the difference for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the tournament so far.
Andre Russell has been the player of the tournament so far without a doubt. His power hitting consistency has left everyone spellbound. The power hitter from Jamaica has smashed 22 sixes in four matches so far and by this rate, Russell could well hit 100 sixes in the tournament before finishing the tourney.
However, despite his exceptional power-hitting abilities, Stephen Fleming stated that KKR has some more good players in the form of Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn who can also make a difference. He also spoke about KKR’s skipper Dinesh Karthik who is actually due for runs in the tournament so far.
“Possibly, there are a couple of challenges. One is you ignore the other six (batsmen). And in a team that has (Chris) Lynn, (Dinesh) Karthik and (Robin) Uthappa you do that at your own peril. We’ve got to be careful we don’t focus overtly on Russell,” he said at the press conference ahead of the IPL match against KKR.
“Even though he has been so dynamic, there’s still good work done by the other players. So, again, I stress it doesn’t change our preparation to focus on one or two players, but we’re acutely aware of how dangerous these players are so, it’s business as usual for us,” Fleming said.
Andre Russell has been in the form of his life and his hitting abilities has gone to a whole new level. He smashed Mohammad Siraj and Tim Southee for 23 and 29 runs respectively to help KKR chase down a stiff target of 205 runs. KKR required 53 to win off 16 deliveries and Russell finished off the job with 5 deliveries to spare. Stephen Fleming feels that with the form Russell has been in, a bowler be it a spinner or a pacer has to be accurate.
Bowlers must be accurate to Andre Russell feels Stephen Fleming
“You’ve got to put context around that as well – different stages of the game. Look at analysis and match up with what you have, it’s no secret that we’re spin-heavy anyway. So, if there’s an opportunity to change-up to Russell, we will certainly look at it. “Whether it’s spin or seam at the end you’ve to be accurate against hitters like Russell, Dhoni, Pollard and Pandya. It’s no different really, the pressure is always on in the last few overs.”
Chennai Super Kings is all set to meet the Kolkata Knight Riders tomorrow night and in all likelihood, it is expected to be a humdinger. Both the teams have been great ambassadors for the tournament and will look to put up a great performance. Both teams have won 4 matches so far so it will be interesting to see who goes to the No 1 position in the points table.