David Hussey, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief mentor has revealed that it is a part of the team’s plans to hold back Andre Russell till death-overs. The team think-tank wants the Jamaican all-rounder to go ballistic in the death overs. However, that didn’t happen on Saturday against the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as KKR managed to score only 133 for nine in their 20 overs after batting first.
Against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Wednesday, Andre Russell’s 22-ball 54 gave KKR an outside chance to win from a near-impossible position. Despite being in form, he walked into bat in the 16th over against RR and managed a seven-ball nine runs.
David Hussey: Andre Russell Is Backed To Get KKR 30-40 Runs Off Around 15 Balls Which Didn’t Happen Against Rajasthan Royals
Attacking all-rounder from the Caribbean, Andre Russell is one of the most sought-after talents at the Indian Premier League. He scored 510 runs in 14 IPL games averaging a staggering 56.66 at a strike rate of 204.81 in IPL 2019 but flopped in IPL 2020 managing only 117 runs in 10 games averaging a pathetic 13. This season, he has scored 108 runs in 5 games with a fifty but KKR is at the bottom place as his knocks went in vain.
When asked about Andre Russell’s batting position after the six-wicket defeat against RR, David Hussey said: “We had a partnership going on at that stage when Andre Russell was due to come in next. With four odd overs to go, we back him to get us 30-40 runs off around 15 balls. In a perfect world, he can go at No.3 and make two hundred, I guess. But that wasn’t tonight.”
Andre Russell’s batting position has often been the subject of debate among fans and pundits over the past few seasons. With a strike rate of over 180, he leads the IPL all-time charts. Despite being KKR’s go-to player, he has often batted down the order with very little time to get set.
David Hussey: KKR To Rethink Batting Strategy
Batting has led KKR down this season. With just one win from five matches, the franchise languishes at the bottom of the points table. David Hussey said KKR will look at all strategies to do well in the batting department.
Admitting the batting incompetence, David Hussey, a former Australia international and KKR all-rounder, stated: “We could look at all strategies when it comes to our batting. We play Punjab Kings in a couple of days, and everything (all the options) is on the table.”
KKR has batsmen – Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Singh, Ben Cutting, Sheldon Jackson, and Tim Seifert – warming the bench as the side-eye changes in the games to follow. From Mumbai, KKR will now fly to Ahmedabad to face Punjab Kings on Monday.
Kolkata Knight Riders bought 8 players in IPL 2021 auction, out of which there were five domestic players and 3 overseas players. KKR had an available salary cap of Rs. 10.75 crore and the franchise spent Rs. 7.3 crore to purchase these 8 players.
Shakib-al-Hasan was bought for Rs. 3.2 crore. The Bangladesh all-rounder was part of KKR in IPL 2012 and IPL 2014- the seasons in which Kolkata Knight Riders lifted the IPL trophies. KKR also bought Harbhajan Singh at his base price of Rs. 2 crores.
Ben Cutting, at his base price Rs. 75 lakh, became another new member of Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR also acquired the services of Sheldon Jackson for Rs. 20 lakhs, Vaibhav Arora for Rs. 20 lakhs, Karun Nair for Rs. 50 lakhs, Venkatesh Iyer for Rs. 20 lakhs, and Pawan Negi for Rs. 50 lakhs.
Kolkata Knight Riders had signed Gurkeerat Singh Mann as a replacement for Rinku Singh, who is out of the tournament due to injury. Gurkeerat Singh Mann last played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2020 before being released ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. KKR has acquired him at his base price of Rs. 50 lakhs. The IPL 2021 will be his eighth IPL season.