Windies T20 captain calls for patience over Russell injuries

By August 02, 2019
Andre Russell Andre Russell

West Indies T20 captain Carlos Brathwaite has come to the defence of injured teammate Andre Russell, who he believes has come in for some harsh press after a number of injuries have impacted his international output.

After feeling discomfort during the Global T20 Canada, Andre Russell asked to be excused from duty for the West Indies in the first T20 internationals against India in the Caribbean.

During a pre-match press conference, Brathwaite, made it clear where he stood on the issue.

Brathwaite tackled those who thought Russell did a disservice to the West Indies’ World Cup hopes, saying:

"And speaking for myself as captain of the T20 team and speaking for myself as Andre's friend, whenever we speak about playing for West Indies, that's always his main goal. And we've seen in the World Cup -whether he was 100% or not, it's debatable - but the fact that he wanted to be at the World Cup, wanted to pull on the shirt and wanted to perform for the people in the West Indies and his mates in the dressing room, I think, is testament to the person he is. And I think we need to start commending the fact that he actually tries to get on the park and stop lambasting the fact that he probably doesn't stay on it till the end of the 50 overs or the 20 overs,” said Brathwaite.

According to the skipper, the more important part of the equation, is Russell’s willingness to play for the West Indies.

"I think he's been knocked in the press a bit because of his injury woes. And I think it's easy for us to see him hobbling around the field and just take for granted that he's injured but we can also look at it on the other side and say he can be home, he could be elsewhere and not trying to play for the West Indies.

Russell, Brathwaite revealed, would have played in these T20s if prodded to do so, despite his less-than-100 per cent fitness status.

"Even against my better judgment, I told him to sit out this series, but he really wanted to play, he really wanted to come and show off his skills and show off what he does in franchise cricket for the West Indies. Unfortunately, he took another knock and he doesn't think that if he comes here that he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%. Obviously, he's a big loss, not only on the field but off the field. In the dressing room, in and around the team, he's a big character, very jovial and in my eyes, a leader in the dressing room as well,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper then asked that the press look at the bigger picture, because there were other tournaments the West Indies have an eye on doing well at, tournaments Russell will be important to.

“ … Obviously, if we need to get him ready for the Twenty20 World Cup, we have to do without him for a couple of series, I prefer that than pushing him in this series and making a long term injury.”

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • Moeen Ali: South Africa Test return felt too soon Moeen Ali: South Africa Test return felt too soon

    A return to the England Test team for the upcoming tour of South Africa would have felt too soon, all-rounder Moeen Ali has conceded.

    Moeen opted to take a break from the longest format after a chastening experience in the first Ashes Test with Australia at Edgbaston.

    He scored only four runs with the bat, suffering the ignominy of twice being undone by fellow off-spinner Nathan Lyon, while taking disappointing match figures of 3-172 with the ball.

    England went on to draw the five-match series, failing to regain the urn in the process, before losing a two-match series in New Zealand 1-0.

    That led to talk of Moeen returning for four Tests in South Africa, but Jack Leach and Matt Parkinson were selected as the slow-bowling options in the 17-man squad.

    "It just felt too soon. The past few years have been so full-on and the plan behind my break from Test cricket was to freshen up, enjoy some new environments and get my game back in good order," Moeen wrote in his column for the Guardian.

    "That is something that people perhaps don't realise is hard to do when you play all three international formats and particularly so when you are an all-rounder.

    "The time away has felt quite liberating. Since my international debut in 2014, the miles on the clock have probably crept up and Test cricket is the level where the pressure and scrutiny are greatest.

    "Combining it all had become a bit draining and rushing back now might have seen nothing change in this regard.

    "Playing 60 Tests has meant so much to me, especially picking up 181 wickets and five five-wicket hauls, which for a guy who grew up thinking as a batter first is something I never thought possible.

    "My batting is where I really want to find form again, though. Five Test centuries suggests I have it in me."

    Moeen, who is set to play in the Pakistan Super League for Multan Sultans, did not rule out the possibility of featuring in the tour of Sri Lanka in March next year.

    He claimed 18 wickets – the same tally as left-armer Leach - in a 3-0 whitewash in England's last Test series in the country, back in November 2018.

    "The back end of the PSL coincides with the Sri Lanka Test tour in March and at this stage it is a tournament I intend to see out," he added. 

    "But the franchise's head coach, Andy Flower, is someone I know I can talk to, if and when the England conversation arises again. So let's see what happens."

  • Pollard still taking the positives, wants improved bowling from Windies Pollard still taking the positives, wants improved bowling from Windies

    Despite losing their T20I series to India 2-1 thanks to a 67-run defeat in Mumbai, West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard is looking forward to the upcoming ODIs saying there are many positives for his young charges.

    "Taking the positives, when you look at our performances with the bat through the series, consistent, we'll take that as a unit,” said Pollard.

    “Yes, we lost 2-1, but we have three more games to look forward to in the ODIs."

    The all-rounder, who slammed 68 from just 38 deliveries in a valiant but in vain effort to chase down the 240-3 made by Virat Kohli’s side, understands that the West Indies need to sort out how they go about bowling in T20Is.

    Sent into bat, India’s Rohit Sharma smashed 71 from 34 deliveries, while his opening partner and eventual man of the match, KL Rahul scored a brisk 91, doing so off 56 deliveries. Kohli himself was savage, ending unbeaten on 70 from 29 balls.

    In reply, the West Indies would end on a creditable 173-8 despite a top-order collapse.

    “At the end of the day, we know we need to get better at executing with the ball,” said Pollard.

    On the other hand, Pollard believes such is the power and class of the young side, which lost Evin Lewis to a knee injury while they were fielding, that any total is gettable.

    “In our minds [240 was gettable]. 230 has been chased here when England played South Africa,” he said.

    The youthfulness of the side is also something that gives Pollard reason to hope for a turnaround in results in the near future.

    “There's a lot of emerging players coming through. Yes, the bowling is a concern, but we have a roster of guys coming through. Those are the areas, but we know success is a boring thing, you need to do the right things day in and day out,” he said.

  • Top order delivers as India cruise to T20 series win Top order delivers as India cruise to T20 series win

    KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli bludgeoned West Indies as India claimed victory in the Twenty20 series decider in Mumbai by 67 runs.

    The tourists had kept their hopes alive with an eight-wicket victory in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.

    However, the Windies' bowling attack had no answer at the Wankhede Stadium, India's big hitters delivering in emphatic fashion to seal the series.

    Rohit (71) and Rahul (91) combined for a 135-run first-wicket partnership, the latter posting his third-highest score in T20 cricket, before Kohli carried India to 240-3 with an unbeaten 70.

    West Indies wilted in reply, with Kieron Pollard's 68 in vain for a team that lost Evin Lewis to an injury suffered while fielding, the batsman taken off on a stretcher after hurting his knee.

    Both India openers reached 50 in rapid fashion, Rohit doing so in 23 balls and Rahul in 29. Their remarkable start was ended in the 12th over when Rohit picked out Hayden Walsh in the deep. 

    Rishabh Pant went for a duck as he failed to make the most of his promotion to number three, but captain Kohli struck seven sixes to help extinguish any hope of a fightback from the Windies bowlers.

    He accounted for 64 of the 95 runs compiled in a third-wicket stand with Rahul, who was denied a third T20 international century when he was caught behind attempting to hook a Sheldon Cottrell bouncer.

    The Windies promptly fell to 17-3 inside the first four overs of their innings, but Shimron Hetmyer steadied the ship with a knock of 41 that saw him clear the rope five times.

    Hetmyer succumbed to Kuldeep Yadav in unfortunate fashion, hitting a full loss straight to long on, and the spinner also accounted for Jason Holder 10 balls later.

    Pollard raised the slight possibility of a tense finish by hitting 32 runs in 10 balls, but when he diverted a Bhuvneshwar Kumar short ball to deep midwicket, the writing was on the wall.

    Attention now turns to a three-match ODI series, which starts on Sunday.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.