After failing to chase an imposing target of 214 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell expressed disappointment and termed the 10-run defeat as ‘sweet-and-sour feeling’. The Caribbean cricketer who has been in supreme touch in the ongoing season also lashed out at the team management for sending him lower down the order.
Speaking at the post-match news conference, Russell said, “To lose by 10 runs, it’s just two hits away. In the middle period, if we scored a bit faster we would definitely get the runs with even balls the spare.”
He further stated, “I believe that (I should have batted at No 4)… Honestly, I think sometimes you have to [be] flexible as a team. Looking at the makeup of our team, I would not mind going to bat at No 4. When I am at the crease, Virat Kohli is going to bowl his best bowlers to get me out. And those best bowlers will have less overs remaining in the back end. So even if I score 60 off 25 balls, and give the team that the early pump then bowlers like Dale Steyn will have only one over left at the death, or they may bowl out…I think me going to bat early would definitely be a good thing for KKR. But with our makeup of the team, that’s a good answer.”
In response to RCB’s 213/4, the hosts got off to a dreadful start as they lost three batsmen inside five overs. Robin Uthappa made things worse for the home side as the right-handed batsman just added 9 runs on the board in 20 balls.
However, Russell along with Nitish Rana almost pulled an impossible task as the duo added 118-runs in 48 deliveries. The Caribbean cricketer smashed 65 runs in 25 balls, while his partner remained unbeaten on 85 from 46 deliveries.
Praising Rana for supporting him well throughout the course of the chase, Russell said, “Well batted to Nitish, but this is something that we definitely are disappointed and that’s why I have a sweet-and-sour feeling.”
Speaking on the conversation between him and Rana. while the duo were out in the middle, the Windies cricketer said, “When I went to bat, Nitish came to me and said what I think. I said ‘I bat one way — and it’s positive’. So if the first ball is in my court, I don’t need to see what’s happening. So to go out and chase 14-15 an over is not the best way you want to start as a batsman but I’m used to those conditions and situation.”
Speaking on his individual form in this season, Russell said, “I’m not afraid to get out. I mean, this is cricket, it won’t be the first or the last. So a clear mindset has allowed me to do what I’m doing now.”
The Windies cricketer has been in blazing form and is the leading six-hitter of this season with 39 to his credit. He also sits fourth in the run-getters tally with 377 runs at an average of 75.40 with an astonishing strike rate of 220.46.
Chris Gayle changed my life in terms of power hitting
Chasing RCB’s 206 in the first leg, KKR needed 53 runs off last three overs but Russell’s assault ensured that they won by five balls to spare. An identical scenario was seen in their opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad where then too Russell had sealed the issue for KKR.
Recently speaking on BBC’s Doosra podcast Russell revealed how Chris Gayle helped him developed into the power-hitter that he is today. “Chris Gayle changed my life in terms of power hitting. I’ve learned a lot from him. I used to use lighter bats, but when you make contact with a light bat, it doesn’t go anywhere. During the World Cup, he came to me and said, ‘Russ, you’re better than that. You can use bigger bats, you’re strong.’ 2016, when we won the [T20] World Cup in India, that year changed my life. That semi-final onwards, where I scored 48 (43) runs for West Indies. Now my bats are [bigger]. There’s a lot of mechanics behind my bats, I play around with them a lot.”
He also credited watching the NFL in United States gave him a unique perspective on power training. “I work out like NFL players. When I went to Dallas a few years ago, that kind of changed my life into seeing how professional athletes in different sport go about their game,” he said.