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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

IPL 2019: Avengers fan Andre Russell happy to be fans’ superhero

After leading KKR to a 34-run win over MI, Andre Russell said he is happy to be a fans’ superhero.

cricket Updated: Apr 29, 2019 11:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kolkata Knight Riders' cricketer Andre Russell celebrates after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indias' cricketer Evin Lewis during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty 20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium, in Kolkata.
Kolkata Knight Riders' cricketer Andre Russell celebrates after taking the wicket of Mumbai Indias' cricketer Evin Lewis during the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty 20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium, in Kolkata.(AFP)
         

A delighted Andre Russell said he has no problems if the fans call him a superhero. Russell’s comments came after he led Kolkata Knight Riders to a 34-run win over Mumbai Indians in an IPL 2019 encounter at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. Russell starred with both bat and ball, helping KKR snap their six-match losing streak and still be in the race to the IPL playoffs.

Russell, KKR’s biggest impact player of the season, was finally sent higher up the order at No 3. The West Indies power-hitter ensured that KKR finished on a high with an unbeaten 80 off 40 balls. KKR posted the highest total of IPL 2019 – 232/2. In reply, Mumbai Indians could only manage 198 for 7 despite a brilliant innings from Hardik Pandya (91 off 34 balls).

“Yes, I am a fan of (Avengers), I am watching it for a while. If the fans say that I am a (super hero) I am happy,” said Russell, who turns 31 today, at post-match presentation.

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Russell hammered six fours and eight sixes including one off the last ball after he denied a couple of singles to skipper Dinesh Karthik in the last over as KKR creamed 75 runs from the last five overs and scored 135 in the final 10.

Russell attributed his big-hitting skills to his balance and hand-eye co-ordination. “Hand-eye co-ordination, a good bat speed and balance is important. I generate a lot of power from the shoulders and core. Everything works together. You need to make sure your body is fit and strong in order to play those upward shots in those moments. When the bowler is trying to outsmart you with a wide or slower ball,” said Russell.

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Russell termed his innings against MI as one of his bests in T20s. “One of my best T20 days, definitely. We needed to get 200-plus but getting 230 was just enough. If it was just over 200 we would have been on the losing end. We kept our heads calm under pressure and executed our plans well,” Russell added.

Russell also picked up 2 wickets with the ball and gave away only 25 runs in his 4 overs. The West Indian all-rounder who has been scoring at a strike rate of 207.63 in this IPL, sounded confident of sealing a playoff berth for KKR. “We have given ourselves a chance. Hopefully the result in the next two games goes our way,” Russell signed off.

KKR need to win their next two games – KXIP and MI – in order to give themselves a chance of qualifying to the playoffs.

First Published: Apr 29, 2019 11:40 IST

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