Kolkata Knight Riders, after a promising start, have slipped away and despite the presence of a certain Andre Russell, they are just not able to close out games. After the blitz against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, KKR was still not able to cross the line and this now has the team stuck in the lower end of the table.
Yes, the decision to keep Russell waiting in the wings will be discussed, the man himself wants a promotion, he wants KKR to be flexible and adapt to situations. His strike rate this season is hovering around 221 and yet he marches out to bat when the situation is dire. He has salvaged the side from a point of no return in a couple of matches already, but the rest of the batting order certainly need to look at themselves and provide him more support.
KKR co-owner Shah Rukh Khan, who is quite vocal about his side, took to Twitter and in a rather morose tone asked his side to win few games as a return gift for Andre Russell.
In the eight innings so far, the Jamaican's contribution with the bat has been immense, the lowest score he has managed is 45. However, he forever walks in to bat No. 5, 6 or even lower down the order when the 'death' overs are on. Despite all this, he has blitzed his way to bail KKR out of trouble - hence, it is no surprise that he is the leading run-scorer for KKR this season with a tally of 377. So, when he says that he wants to bat higher up the order, the management needs to sit down and give it a serious thought.
And there is a method to this madness. Russell captains his side, Jamaica Tallawahs back home in CPL and hence, there is a reason why he wants to bat higher up the order. He believes that when he is in early, the opposition captain will bowl their best bowlers which will make the job far easier for other batsmen at the back end of the innings.
For KKR, who have used Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik in the lower order will find the task easier if lesser bowlers are locked in against them. In this match against RCB, Nitish Rana and Rohin Uthappa fumbled around, they added 46 off 41 balls and despite this, KKR fell one hit away from chasing down the target. So there is merit in what the Jamaican has proposed. Perhaps, Shah Rukh Khan has made a point, perhaps Russell has tried to knock sense, perhaps KKR is listening?