'In a span of 10-11 balls, he hit about 5 or 6 sixes': Karthik recalls KKR batsman's ballistic knock against RCB
- IPL 2021: Dinesh Karthik clearly remembers the carnage one of his KKR teammates inflicted on RCB in IPL 2019.
When it comes to the IPL, there are few who can hit the ball as hard as Andre Russell. The West Indies all-rounder, who joined Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, had to wait a few seasons before becoming a household name. In 2015 and 2018, Russell had decent outings for KKR, scoring over 300 runs in each season; however, it was in 2019 that Russell finally came into his elements, blasting 510 runs from 14 matches at an average of 56.66 and a stellar strike-rate of 204.8.
Russell had hammered four half-centuries in IPL 2019, but perhaps his most memorable innings of the season was his knock of 48 off just 13 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Batting first, RCB had set KKR a total of 206 to get, with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers scoring half-centuries. With KKR batting, the equation had come down to 53 needed off 18 balls, which Russell unbelievably gunned down. Dinesh Karthik, the then captain of KKR looked back at that monstrous innings from the big-hitting West Indian.
"Andre Russell... in 2019 batted the best he's ever batted in his career. Some of the innings he played, he single-handedly won the game for us," Karthik said in a video on ESPNCricinfo.
Karthik narrated the carnage as it is. After Mohammed Siraj bowled three balls and got hammered for a six off a no-ball, the fast bowler injured himself and pulled up. Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis bowled three balls and got hit for six twice. The next over is where Russell took the game away from RCB, hitting Tim Southee for 29 runs in the penultimate over of the innings, including four sixes and one four.
"I very vividly remember one over when some bowler started it, and he got injured after one ball. Comes in Marcus Stoinis… my god, the way he hit Stoinis and that’s where things started. And then he took out Southee. These two overs and in a span of 10-11 balls, he hit six or five sixes, I’m not sure, completely changed the game," Karthik added.
"Till about 16 overs, which is about 36 overs of this game, RCB were all the way up and running. They were killing it. But just that point, in walks Andre Russell and the way he batted was just an absolute treat to watch him."