Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder Andre Russell posted a video on his Instagram account where he was seen getting back into match fitness. Last week, Russell sustained a hamstring injury while fielding in a match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
He was subsequently kept out of KKR’s playing XI, and the franchise tried a couple of options in his place. First, they brought in Tim Seifert and then Shakib Al Hasan. While the former was only given one chance and dropped somewhat unfairly, Shakib managed to make the slot his own.
Now that Russell has announced his comeback after successfully overcoming the battle with the hamstring injury, it will be compelling to see whether Eoin Morgan and co. decide to drop Shakib in favour of Russell.
“If Andre Russell cannot bat and bowl, I’d pick Shakib” – Gautam Gambhir
Former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir was also adamant about sticking with the Bangladeshi all-rounder despite knowing the kind of firepower Russell possesses. Since Shakib has done quite well in the couple of matches he has played in the UAE, Gambhir wants him to persist.
“No, if he doesn’t bowl, he doesn’t come in. What wrong has Shakib done? For me, if Russell is fit and he’s willing to do deliver in both the departments, batting, and bowling, I’d pick him. But if he says that he can only bat and can’t bowl, then I’d probably go with Shakib because you need the sixth bowling option against a batting lineup like RCB,” Gambhir said to ESPNcricinfo.
Kolkata has all but qualified for the playoffs and will play in the eliminator against RCB unless there’s a miraculous display from Mumbai Indians (MI).