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IPL 2018: Andre Russell took the game away from us - Delhi Daredevils spin coach

Andre Russell’s innings overshadowed teammate Nitish Rana’s half century for Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday, according to Delhi Daredevils spin coach Sridharan Sriram

cricket Updated: Apr 17, 2018 09:40 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
IPL 2018,Andre Russell,Delhi Daredevils
Andre Russell’s brilliant innings guided Kolkata Knight Riders to victory over Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 in Kolkata on Monday.(AFP)

The kind of explosive batting that the Indian Premier League (IPL) scoreboards call “Lynn-sanity” hasn’t yet happened; Robin Uthappa has looked promising without really stamping his personality on a game; Dinesh Karthik hasn’t played a game-changing knock and yet in four games, but Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have already got to 200 twice and 177 once. (HIGHLIGHTS)

That happened because while Chris Lynn, Uthappa and Karthik have all put their shoulders to the wheel, it is Nitish Rana and Andre Russell who have hit a purple patch. Rana has had scores of 34, 16, 18 and 59 at a strike rate of 141.1 and Russell has got 15, 88, 9 and 41 at 239.06. Together, they have provided KKR maturity and muscle. (SCORECARD)

“Russell’s blitz took the game away from us. We had done all the planning but couldn’t execute them. It was a match-winnings innings…He made (Mohammed) Shami lose the plot for six-seven deliveries and that was enough for him to have a bad game,” said Delhi Daredevils’ spin bowling coach Sridharan Sriram, referring to the power-packed 12-ball 41 from the Jamaican muscle mass which led to KKR again beating Delhi Daredevils by 71 runs .

But wasn’t the stage set for Russell by Man-of-the-Match Rana? Sridharan didn’t agree, saying without Russell’s meteor shower on the Eden Gardens’ stands, KKR would have been restricted to 170-odd and that would have been a par-score. “Rana wasn’t going to be as dangerous as Russell. Till Russell walked in, we were in the game; the way we bowled to Lynn was extraordinary but then Russell hit a couple of sixes…these things tend to happen,” said Sriram.

READ | IPL 2018: Nitish Rana, Andre Russell star as Kolkata Knight Riders crush Delhi Daredevils

A 25-ball 34 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) gave early indications of form but it wasn’t till Monday that Rana could showcase the full breadth of his abilities. And he too didn’t think the score of 59 was overshadowed by Russell’s blitz of six sixes in an innings.

“Our roles are different. My job is to protect one end, stay till the end and create a launching pad for Russell. I have been seeing the ball well so far but was unlucky to have fallen to a superb catch (against Sunrisers Hyderabad). I knew with the spinners coming on, it would be easier for me as their deliveries come into me,” said Rana.

After the first match, Rana had spoken of the need to close games adding that in his dismissal before the job being done there was a lesson learnt. He seems to have learnt it well. After beating RCB, Rana had also said he does well under pressure. On Monday, he also said: “Pressure mein maaza aata hai.”

READ | IPL 2018: Nitish Rana fifty guides KKR to big win over DD 

With a green streak running from front to back, ear stud and cultivated stubble, Rana also looks every bit the new-age Indian cricketer who isn’t weighed down by his lack of international experience. So far, the return on investment of Rs 3.40 crore has been good.

Need to address power play bowling

Sriram said Delhi Daredevils need to improve on their death bowling and need to do it fast. “Against Kings XI Punjab, KL Rahul ran away with the game and against Mumbai Indians we went for 84. Tonight, after four overs for 19, we ended the power play at 50. So, it needs to be addressed and addressed very quickly,” he said.

First Published: Apr 17, 2018 08:03 IST