Cricket great Sunil Gavaskar believes having Sunil Narine batting in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ middle order is a complete waste of time as the team needs quality batsmen in their line-up to be able to reverse their fortunes in the IPL this season.

KKR are currently eighth in the IPL standings after just two wins from their seven matches to date, a position that Gavaskar believes comes down to one thing.

"To be honest, they don’t have too many classy batsmen. I don’t know how many in the dugout they can look to and say, ‘Look… why don’t you come in and bat up the order.’ Because if you have a look at their batting, apart from Shubman Gill and Morgan himself, there is no class," Gavaskar said on Cricket Connected.

"There is Andre Russell down at five or six and Dinesh Karthik,” Gavaskar continued.

“I would look at promoting Karthik up the order, because for simple reasons. There is Rahul Tripathi up. Sunil Narine at 4 or 5 whatever is a waste of space. It doesn’t make any sense having him there. If you want to have Sunil Narine, have him at the top of the order where he can throw his bat around, and maybe if he connects a few, that’s fine.

“KKR’s problem is that they haven’t got anybody at three, four, five who can play an impact innings."

 

West Indies and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder, Andre Russell, has crossed the threshold of 6000 runs in T20 cricket during an IPL match against the Delhi Capitals.

The big hitter became the sixth West Indian to reach the mark behind the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Kieron Pollard on top run-getter Chris Gayle.  Russell is, however, the youngest West Indian player to reach the total.

Russell, who was celebrating his birthday, reached the milestone with a double in the 16th over of the match.  He went on to blast an unbeaten 45 from 27 deliveries but Delhi won the match by 7 runs.

Overall, Russell has played 80 matches in the Indian Premier League, scoring 1635 runs at an average of 29.68 with a strike rate of 179.67 and a high score of 88*.  He has also taken 68 wickets in IPL so far, at an economy rate of 9.08 and an average of 26.86.

 This season the player is off to a strong start for Kolkata, scoring 118 runs in six matches at a solid strike rate of 151. He has also claimed seven wickets in six games.  Things have, however, not gone well for KKR who have lost four of their first 6 games.

Prithvi Shaw was the star performer for Delhi Capitals as they recorded an emphatic seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.

Shaw hit 11 fours – including six in a row in one over – and a trio of sixes in an innings of 82 that helped the Capitals coast to a 155-run target at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Shikhar Dhawan was happy enough to play second fiddle to his opening partner, making 46 from 47 balls before falling lbw to Pat Cummins with the total on 132 in the 14th over.

Cummins (3-24) also removed the outstanding Shaw and Rishabh Pant (16) with the finishing line in sight, leaving Marcus Stoinis to complete the job with a streaky four as Delhi triumphed with 21 balls to spare.

Kolkata had been indebted to some big hitting in the closing stages from Andre Russell but still finished with a below-par 154-6. The all-rounder blasted two fours and four sixes to top score with 45 not out.

Their hopes of posting a more substantial total had been damaged by losing four wickets for 13 runs in the middle overs, seeing them slip from 69-1 to 82-5.

Shubman Gill made 43 at the top of the order but both captain Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine failed to trouble the scorers amid the collapse.

Lalit Yadav finished with figures of 2-13 for Delhi, while Axar Patel (2-32) also struck twice with his left-arm spin to help restrict the Knight Riders, who have now lost five of the past six meetings between the teams.


Double celebration for Russell

Russell celebrated his 33rd birthday with an eye-catching 27-ball knock that saw him surpass 6,000 Twenty20 runs in his career.

The right-hander was cautious at first before cutting loose, smashing Kagiso Rabada for successive sixes to finish the 19th over before ending the 20th with another off the bowling of Avesh Khan.

Capitals gain from a Shaw thing

Shaw reached his half-century from just 18 deliveries, aided by taking Shivam Mavi for six successive fours in an opening over that cost 25 runs (Delhi's reply had started with a wide).

Delhi's fifth victory in seven outings in the 2021 season sees them move level on 10 points with leaders Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the table.

Jamaicans Andre Russell and Fabian Allen are among five West Indies players who were picked up yesterday’s Pakistan Super League Replacement Draft that is expected to resume. However, one player is on the way out.

West Indies all-rounder, Andre Russell, has revealed he was too overcome with emotion to head straight back to the dressing room, after being bowled by Chennai Super Kings’ Sam Curran, in an 18 runs loss for Kolkatta Knight Riders on Wednesday.

The viral photo of a dejected Russell sitting on the steps did the rounds on social media, and the player has taken the time out to explain the emotions associated with the moment.

“Well, I was very emotional and I didn’t know how to go to the changing room and face all my teammates after leaving a ball and getting out bowled like that,” Russell told KKR.in.

“You know, the job is not complete, and I wanted to take the team over the line. So, I think the emotions got the best of me but staying strong,” he added.

KKR found themselves chasing a sizeable 221 for victory and in real trouble at 31 for 5. Russell and Dinesh Karthik had, however, started to lead the fightback. Russell hit 6 sixes and smashed a 21-ball fifty to give KKR hope and seemed set on delivering on one of his famous comeback specials.  He was, however, dismissed against the run of play, for 54, in the 12th over when he left a Curran delivery, which crashed into his leg stump.

 

 Former England captain turned cricket analyst. Michael Vaughan. has questioned the overall fitness of West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell, despite the player’s fair start to the Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

In the second game of the campaign for the Kolkatta Knight Riders, Russell cleaned up the Mumbai Indians' tail for career-best figures of 5-15.  In the same match, however, the player was unable to finish the job with the bat as the Knight Riders slumped to a dramatic 10-run defeat as Russell added 9 from 15.

Vaughan pointed to the batsman’s work in the field and running between the crease as evidence the big hitter is not quite at his best.

“You got a player like Andre Russell, who has been a superstar, but on the field, when the ball is coming to him, he is always using his feet. He is obviously someone who cannot go down. It’s a very clever and careful aspect which Eoin Morgan will have to manage,” Vaughan told Cricbuzz.

“When he (Andre Russell) is at his best, he is great. But when you see him on the field, and when is bowling, he appears to be struggling. While batting he is not taking the twos,” he added.

“He needed to take the twos in the 19th over. Because you want him back on strike. Very difficult to manage for Brendon McCullum and Eoin Morgan.”

The Knight Riders have won 1 of their first 3 matches.

Andre Russell cleaned up the Mumbai Indians' tail for career-best figures of 5-15 but was unable to finish the job with the bat as the Kolkata Knight Riders slumped to a dramatic 10-run defeat

Suryakumar Yadav hit a wonderfully fluent 56 but Mumbai's innings stuttered after he holed out to Shakib Al Hasan and they lost 7-37 in the final five overs to be dismissed for 152, as Russell claimed a remarkable 5-15 from 12 deliveries.

Nitish Rana (57) and Shubman Gill (33) tore into the Indians attack with an opening stand of 72, only for Kolkata to subside meekly from a position of strength to a final score of 142-7 – leg-spinner Rahul Chahar (4-27) chipping away at the top order before Trent Boult (2-27) sealed the deal by removing Russell and Pat Cummins in the final over.

Batsmen on either side generally found the going tough but Suryakumar played beautifully, hitting seven fours and two sixes with some wonderfully languid strokeplay before being caught by Gill when trying to plough Shakib back over his head.

Skipper Rohit Sharma anchored the innings until the impressive Cummins (2-24) bowled him with an off-cutter for 43 and Russell made hay.

Fellow West Indian Kieron Pollard edged behind to start the procession and Cummins held on as Russell dismissed Marco Jansen for nought, with Krunal Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Chahar all caught in the deep off the final four balls of the innings.

Unfortunately for Kolkata, they similarly fell apart down the stretch after Chahar had Gill caught by Pollard and claimed the key wicket of Rana stumped, Rahul Tripathi and captain Eoin Morgan giving their wickets away cheaply in every sense to the wrist-spinner.

Shakib played a reckless slog sweep to fall to Krunal Pandya, who sent down a miserly four overs for 1-13. He dropped a return catch with Russell on nought but Boult ensured that did not matter, removing the all-rounder in similar fashion before cleaning up Cummins first ball to effectively end the argument.

Mumbai keep Kolkata under their spell

This was certainly a victory worthy of the defending champions, for whom everything looked lost as Rana and Gill went about their work. There will have been a sense of grim inevitability for the Knight Riders when Chahar and Krunal Pandya began to turn the screw – they have now lost 11 of the past 12 matches between the sides.

Forgot about Dre?

A specialist in franchise T20 all over the world, it was no surprise to see Russell bringing his know-how to the fore. However, in a game of such tight margins, perhaps Morgan might regret not giving the Jamaican his full allocation of overs.

West Indies all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo, has hailed the role of big-hitting teammates Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in inspiring a new generation of exciting batsmen.

For decades the Caribbean has created some of the world’s most exciting stroke players, with the likes of Everton Weekes, Gary Sobers, and, later on, Viv Richards and Brian Lara thrilling crowds with their incredible run-scoring ability.

The likes of Pollard, Gayle, and Andre Russell have fallen very much into that mold and a new generation that includes players like Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmeyer, and Brandon King have followed in their footsteps.

The 37-year-old all-rounder Bravo, one of the T20 cricket’s most devastating wicket-takers in his own right, was quick to commend Pollard and Gayle for passing the torch.

 “I think these young guys look up to players like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, what these guys have done in white-ball cricket,” Bravo told Khaleej Times after leading the Delhi Bulls to a win in the Abu Dhabi T10 league on Friday.

“The players from the younger generation now aspire to be like them (Gayle, Pollard) you know. Before them, they had Sir Viv (Richards) or (Brian) Lara and (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul, these players and the likes of Gayle and (Ramnaresh) Sarwan. The young players were looking up to those players,” he added.

“But now because of Pollard, Andre Russell, Gayle, you know, you have seen the likes of Pooran, Heytmayer, Rutherford, and Brandon King.”

Shimron Hetmyer, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell were among West Indies players were retained by their Indian Premier League franchises on Wednesday. However, several others were cut loose and will re-enter the pool of players eligible for the IPL Draft coming up on February 11.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management  (ODPM) hurriedly withdrew a previous advisory, which stated that the Russell’s T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar franchise, owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell, had been ordered closed for breaching regulations.

On Wednesday the government body had issued a release stating that both the restaurants Old Harbour and newly opened Kingston location would be closed for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

 Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, however, then claimed that the both establishments were operating in contravention to other regulations.  The ODPM has since claimed that the release had been prepared but was sent out in error.  

There is yet to be any update in relation to the claims of other permit violations later referred to by the minister.

Russell, one of the region’s biggest T20 stars, opened the Old Harbour franchise in 2017 before adding the Kingston location earlier this month.

Two restaurant sports bar locations owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell have been ordered to close immediately for operating in contravention of the Disaster Risk Management Act and not having the proper licensing in place.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie confirmed that both the St Catherine and 12 Dunrobin Avenue locations of Russell's T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar were issued with orders to immediately close on Wednesday.

Night clubs across the island were ordered closed in March, in a bid to arrest the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  According to McKenzie, however, some of the locations across the island have been operating as restaurants in an apparent bid to circumvent the regulations.  In addition to that, however, McKenzie also claimed some of the establishments were not licensed to operate in the manner in which they were.

“There are two locations that we have decided to take actions against, immediate actions.  They are facilities that are owned by a prominent sports individual,” Mckenzie told Nationwide Radio.

“I’m talking about Russell’s T20, the one on Dunrobin and the one in Old Harbour.  The KSMEC and the St Catherine Municipal have never received an application for an amusement license or permit for the operations of these facilities."

Russell opened the Old Harbour branch of the restaurant in 2017, the Kingston location was opened earlier this month.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell said he had changed his mind about travelling with the West Indies to New Zealand for their three-match T20 series but by the time he did, the team had already been selected and he was unable to join.

Andre Russell has been lighting up the Lankan Premier League with both bat and ball delighting his many fans around the world.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell slammed a blistering 14-ball fifty, in a 34-run win for Colombo Kings over Galle Gladiators, who both featured in a severely shorted rain-affected Lanka Premier League fixture on Saturday.

The 32-year-old heavy hitter showed no signs of a recent injury or quarantine fatigue, as he crashed 13 of the 19 deliveries he faced to the boundary.  His total included nine fours and four sixes - en route to an unbeaten 65.

Overall, the score put Russell in elite company, as he became the joint fifth fastest scorer of a half-century in T20 cricket.  Only compatriot Chris Gayle, India’s Yuvraj Singh and Afghanistan’s Hazratullah Zazai who reached the mark in 12 deliveries, and England’s Marcus Trescothick, who reached the mark in 13, remain ahead of Russell on the list.

In getting to the total of 96 for 1 from five overs, Colombo lost Russell’s opening partner Thikshila de Silva who was dismissed for a golden duck.  After being sent in to bat, Russell by himself scored three more runs than the entire Gladiators team when they unsuccessfully chased the target.  In fact, he was on 44 from 11 balls and just one six away from matching the fastest T20 half-century but could only take one run from the 12th delivery he faced.

 Danushka Gunathilaka top-scored for Gala with an unbeaten 30 as the Gladiators managed to get to 62 for 2.   

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