IPL

Russell pleased to get better of 'brother' Gayle

By Sports Desk March 27, 2019

Andre Russell came up trumps over Chris Gayle in the battle of the West Indian superstars as Kolkata Knight Riders secured a 28-run win over King XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday.

Russell scored 49 off 19 and claimed 2 for 21 to score a second straight win for the Knight Riders.  Chasing a massive 218, King XI would have needed a big innings from Gayle who was off a strong start with 20 from 13 balls. 

Russell, however, put a stop to any hopes of a massive score after having the batsman caught, attempting to pull a delivery that hurried into him.  Gayle has been in good form, after scoring 79 in the team’s opening match against Rajastan Royals.

Russell was pleased to get bragging rights over his teammate, a man known these days as the ‘Universe Boss’.

 "Gayle is like a brother to me, the bigger legend," the 30-year-old all-rounder said.

 "To get him out early was great. The plan was to bowl tight to him and restrict him. I am happy that I could get the job done."

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    Guyanese prodigy, Shimron Hetmyer, has earned a recall to the West Indies squad scheduled to play against Sri Lanka in two Twenty20 Internationals on March 4 and six after the completion of the current One-Day International between the teams.

    Hetmyer and Evin Lewis were spectacularly dropped after an announcement they had both failed fitness tests Cricket West Indies selectors had implemented as a requirement for selection.

    There is still no recall for Lewis, who had, not long before, overcome poor form in typically destructive fashion.

    The squad also includes a recall for Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas.

    Allrounder Russell, 31,  hasn't played for the Caribbean side since pulling up short midway through the 50-over World Cup in June 2019. However, he has taken part in other matches, most notably in the Bangladesh Premier League in December and January

    Russell is a two-time ICC T20 World Cup winner, having played a crucial role in the triumphs back in 2012 in Sri Lanka and 2016 in India. He has successfully completed the Cricket West Indies (CWI) return-to-play assessment programme under the supervision of CWI Medical Team in his native Jamaica. He has so far played 47 T20Is for the West Indies.

    Fast bowler Thomas, who turned 23 earlier this week, is selected after making a full recovery from a car accident in Jamaica recently. Additionally, wicket-keeper/batsman Shai Hope has been included alongside left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.

    Commenting on the squad, CWI lead selector Roger Harper said: “Shimron Hetmyer missed out on selection for the ODI squad. He has since attained the required fitness level, becoming available for selection and has been included.

    "Andre Russell is back in the squad, having been cleared by the medical panel and successfully completing CWI’s return-to-play protocol. Andre will add potency to every department of the team. Oshane Thomas appears to be focused and raring to go. He will add pace and penetration to the bowling unit.”

    Harper added: “Shai Hope provides an opening option and cover as a back-up wicket-keeper also. Fabian Allen returns from the injury he sustained in the series against Afghanistan late last year. He will provide a spin-bowling option as well as adding depth to the batting group.”

    Looking ahead to the T20I matches, Harper outlined that he will have one eye on the ICC T20 World Cup to be played in Australia later this year. West Indies are the defending champions and the only team to lift the trophy twice.

    “I look forward to the team building on its recent performances and winning the T20 series in Sri Lanka. This is another opportunity for the team to build on its strengths and identify areas that need improvement while continuing the process of building up with the aim of peaking for the T20 World Cup in October,” said Harper.

    The two T20Is will be played at the Pallakele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

    West Indies and Sri Lanka are now contesting a three-match ODI series. Sri Lanka won the first match today by a wicket in Colombo.

    The second match is in Hambantota on Wednesday.

     

    West Indies T20I squad

    Kieron Pollard (capt), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

     

    IN: Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen, Shai Hope.

     

    OUT: Evin Lewis, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.

  • Windies star Russell regrets not taking better care of knees Windies star Russell regrets not taking better care of knees

    West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has expressed regret with not paying more attention to the health of his knees after experiencing serious issues with the joint in recent years.

    The 31-year-old T20 star was forced to have surgery on his left knee after being out of the ICC World Cup with the injury.  Despite having a successful T20 career the issue has kept the player out of the longer formats of the game.

    In retrospect, the big hitter believes things could have been dealt with differently by taking better care of the issue and has warned developing players not to follow his example.

      Russell is expected to undergo an injury assessment to determine his level of fitness as the team steps up its plans for this year’s T20 World Cup.

    “Those who want to be another Russell should never do what happened to me.  When I was 23 or 24 I began to get knee pain,” Russell told Gulf News.

    “If I had someone tell me: ‘Look Russ, you should get your knee stronger by keep doing these simple exercises, I would have been pain-free from my knees and hopefully I wouldn’t have to have had surgery. Unfortunately, at 23 you are fearless, and I used to ignore that pain and I always gave it a quick fix by taking pain killers and kept running,” he added.

    “By the time I reached my late twenties I started feeling the pain like I never felt before. The wear and tear began to show up. If I was doing those strengthening exercises like training of the legs and doing the right things, I would have been fitter.”

    “I want the youngsters to know that guys should not just think about the upper body alone,” he explained.

    “I used to go to gym and just work only on my abs and my shoulders because I wanted to look sexy for the girls. At the end of the day being sexy and then your legs being weak, don’t work. So it is very important to have a complete work out of the body. I could have done more wonders had I worked on my legs too.”

  • CWI want DreRuss, Narine fit for T20 World Cup CWI want DreRuss, Narine fit for T20 World Cup

    West Indies star allrounder Andre Russell is set to undergo a fitness test with a view to making him part of the region’s bid for a third lien on the Twenty20 World Cup set for Australia this year.

    It has been more than a year and a half since Russell last represented the West Indies in a T20 International with the 2019 World Cup marking the last time he suited up for the side.

    During that World Cup Russell was unable to finish a game without treatment and seemed in real pain. He had to do knee surgery after limping out of one game, but seems on the comeback trail, having played in a number of domestic T20 games around the world.

    “Hopefully, in the next few weeks he will undergo what is described by the medical team as a return-to-play protocol,” said Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave.

    “So he will go through a fitness test to see how his knees have recovered from the injuries that he suffered and allowing us to see if he would be passed fit medically – which is the first stage – and injury free in terms of his ability to both bat and bowl.

    “He would then build up his fitness levels and hopefully through performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) make himself available for selection for the West Indies.”

    Russell is expected to turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders when the IPL season bowls off on March 29 later this year.

    Russell’s partner at KKR, mystery spinner Sunil Narine is also somebody the West Indies are keeping a close watch on.

    Narine played through a finger injury during last year’s Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and has also, for a number of years, struggled with his action.

    “He’s obviously been a player that has been a fantastic servant and player for West Indies, particularly in white ball cricket, but at this stage, Sunil is still working on his action,” said Grave.

    “He obviously had the finger injury which took him out and made him struggle to bowl, and we’re hoping that he’s going to be fully fit … and be able to bowl his full portfolio of deliveries for the IPL and then fingers crossed, from the West Indies point of view, all goes well and he can follow that through into the CPL and hopefully be in form and be available for the World Cup.”

    The T20 World Cup in Australia takes place in October.

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