Luck matters a lot when you’re up against him: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s high praise for West Indies big-hitter
Heaping praise on West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell, India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said his even his mishits go for a six.Updated: Jun 27, 2020 16:37 IST
For a bowler who swings the new ball both ways, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is more than a handy customer at the death. Knuckle balls, slower balls, an accurate yorker make Kumar one of India’s best pacers going around. Over the years, he has had many battles against Steve Smith, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, and Chris Gayle and emerged on top on many occasions - sometimes with his swing, sometimes with his planning and sometimes even with his variations. So when Bhuvneshwar Kumar talks about depending on luck to get a batsman out, it is bound to raise eyebrows.
Heaping praise on West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell, the India pacer said even his mishits go for a six.
“One thing which matters a lot is the ground you’re playing on. Dimensions of the ground, boundary and all matters a lot. You’re generally aware of the dimensions of the ground before the match, and you have a plan on where to bowl. But Russell is a powerful batsman, even his mishits go for a six, as we saw in the last IPL season. Luck matters a lot when you are up against him,” said Bhuvneshwar in a conversation with Deep Dasgupta on ESPN Cricinfo.
“So somewhere down the line, you hope that he misses one ball. Or that his mistimed shots don’t go over the boundary. These things matter a lot. A lot of bowlers in the last IPL, including me, bowled yorkers on his legs and then one wide outside off to bluff him but he used to hit those balls for a six even while losing balance,” added the pacer.
Russell has been one of KKR’s most powerful performers in the last few IPLs. He has won KKR matches almost single-handedly in IPL 2018 and IPL 2019. Russell scored 510 runs at a phenomenal average of 56.66 and a breathtaking strike-rate of 204.81 in IPL 2019.
Bhuvneshwar recalled how Russell single-handedly took the game away from the SRH by slamming more than 50 runs in the last three overs of the match when the pacer was the captain.
“I remember the first match of the last IPL, where I was the captain and he scored 52-odd runs in the final three overs. I still remember two-three of his sixes were so long that normal batsmen wouldn’t have managed even after middling the ball,” remembered Bhuvneshwar, who scalped 13 wickets in 15 matches for SRH in the previous IPL.