One of the most destructive batsmen in world cricket, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell has taken the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by storm with virtuoso displays, amassing 406 runs in 10 innings at a strike rate of 209.27.
But the same cannot be said about his team as KKR have now lost their last six games and are placed sixth in the points table with 8 points after 11 games. And Russell feels that bad decisions cost KKR the games, as they used the wrong bowlers at the wrong time.
“We have been making bad decisions, (and if we keep repeating them) we will always lose games and that’s what we’ve been doing. I could pinpoint a few games where had we just looked to bowl in the right areas or maybe, bowl bowlers who could have restricted the game, it would have made a difference,” Russell rued.
Terming KKR the worst fielding side, Russell opined that the batting hasn’t been the problem.
“The batting hasn’t been struggling really. We got the totals that we should have defended. We’ve been the worst fielding team so far,” he said.
Russell had previously expressed his desire to bat at No. 4. Quizzed whether that has been discussed, the Jamaican said he would be used as a floater in the team.
“I have had conversations with the coach. He’s backing me to go in whenever the team needs me. They are going to have me as a floater now instead of me always batting down the order. If they need me to bat at No. 3-4, that would be my job,” he said.
On the team morale, Russell said since KKR’s defeat to Rajasthan Royals on Thursday, he has not stepped out of his hotel room.
“I have been in my room for the last couple of days. After losing one game after another, I’m not the type of guy who would walking around, pretending that I’m doing something good. We have to have passion inside and not show it on TV. I am very passionate inside,” Russell said.
Talking about KKR’s match against Mumbai Indians on Sunday, Russell said it will take a miracle for them to beat Rohit Sharma and Co.
“We played Rajasthan Royals and were defeated by a weak batting order. If we can’t restrict the other team at 170+ with our bowling, we are going to need miracles against a strong team like MI,” he said.
The 30-year, who got a World Cup call up from the West Indies riding on his stellar displays, was the reason KKR won three of their four games so far before succumbing to six defeats on the bounce.
Russell was adjudged Man of the Match in those three games, the most sensational being his 13-ball 48* against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru on April 5, when he snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.
“I have never feared any bowler. Never. Bowlers fear me,” Russell said.
Russell was asked if the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga could trouble him on Sunday. “I’m not bragging, I can get out in one ball tomorrow or the first ball they bowl can go for six.
“Bumrah is a top bowler, so is Malinga. But they are human beings too. They can bowl a few balls that slip off their fingers, don’t come out like they normally do. And I’m in business then,” said Russell who has so far plundered 42 sixes, the highest by a distance this season.
KKR need to win their remaining three games and hope other results go their way in order to make it to the playoffs.