IPL 2019: There’s Been No Complaints From Andre Russell: Dinesh Karthik
Following the 10-run loss at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Andre Russell had clearly stated that he would like to bat higher. Russell had nearly taken Kolkata Knight Riders over the line during the mammoth 214-run chase but eventually ran out of deliveries. Russell managed to face just 25 balls but still ended up hitting 65 as Knight Riders fell agonizingly short of pulling off a miraculous win.
Following the win, Russell had questioned his team’s tactics while clearly hinting that he would like to be promoted in the batting order.
“I believe that [I should bat higher up the order],” Russell had said while putting a finger to his lips. “Honestly, you have to sometimes be flexible as a team. When you look at the make-up of our team, I don’t mind going to bat at No. 4.”
Russell has been one of the most if not the most impactful player of this season. He, however, has not faced too many deliveries in an innings to inflict more damage on the opposition. On an average, the allrounder has come out to bat with 42 balls remaining. Given that Knight Riders depend heavily on Russell to deliver the goods, their unwillingness to promote him in the batting order looks baffling.
On Sunday, Russell was sent at number seven in the 16th over against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Knight Riders had the chance to send their star man in the ninth over but they held him back. As a result, Russell managed to face just nine balls and still ended up hitting two sixes. It, however, did not make any difference as Sunrisers restricted the Knight Riders for just 159 for 8 before chasing down the total in 15 overs while losing just one wicket.
However, after the game, Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik said that Russell has made no complaints about his batting position.
“He had about five overs to face. When he came in, there were 27 balls and we’re looking to play him at a kind of slot where…I think he’s the kind of player even if he had played 10 balls, he’d have made an impact. The key is that we play that well at the top of the order that we set it up for him. There’s been no complaints from his side about the batting part of it. I think he’s been happy with the place where he’s going and he has a clear role in the team which he’s trying to achieve every time he goes out to bat,” Karthik told the media after the nine-wicket loss to Sunrisers.
Karthik’s comments are baffling considering that Russell had publicly said that he would like to bat higher in the order. Well, the Knight Riders should make sure their star man remains happy as they look to bring their campaign back on track after losing five games in a row.