Injury scare for Russell ahead of match vs RCB
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) danger man Andre Russell injured his left shoulder after being hit by a bouncer during Wednesday’s practice session at the Eden.
It happened at the fag end of the day’s session when Russell failed to negotiate a bouncer from net bowler Minad Manjrekar and fell on the ground. He was seen writhing in pain as the support staff rushed to the ground.
It is the same left shoulder where Russell was hit by a Harshal Patel delivery during KKR’s match against Delhi Capitals at the Kotla.
As Russell lied on the ground, he was treated with an ice pack. “He was assessed and there was no major injury like fracture or dislocation,” a team source said.
Still, there is a question mark on his availability for Friday’s IPL XII match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Russell did not expect the delivery to rise so steeply that made matters worse for the West Indian. “It wasn’t intentional… The ball just slipped out of my hand,” young Manjrekar later said.
The Mumbai youngster, though, has a knack of bowling bouncers.
Russell’s injury will be followed keenly by the West Indies selectors too as he is expected to be in the World Cup squad, riding his blistering IPL form.
The afternoon, however, didn’t show what the evening had in store for Russell. He, along with captain Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Harry Gurney, Joe Denly and Piyush Chawla, were in a jovial mood at a promotional.
Karthik was asked about KKR’s chances and the captain said that out of the remaining six matches, they would have to win four to seal a play-offs berth. “We have to win four matches and have to start with Friday’s match against RCB. Friday’s tie is very important for us,” Karthik said.
Meanwhile, left-arm seamer Harry Gurney said KKR are not too concerned about the presence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in RCB ranks as they are focusing more on getting their campaign back on track after a hat-trick of losses.
“In IPL, whoever you play against, there are several world-class players. RCB are no different. Virat and De Villiers are obviously two of the best in the world. It’s important not to underestimate the rest of the batting line-up,” Gurney told reporters.
“We will not rest on our laurels if we do get those two out early, because their line-up is full of very good players. So, we won’t focus only on them (Kohli and AB). We will focus on all the batsmen,” the left-arm seamer from Nottingham said.
On tackling Kohli and AB, Gurney said: “We will assess them in the same way that we do any opposition batsmen. We got access to world-class analysis at KKR.
“We will come up with our plans and hopefully try and restrict them as much as possible.”
After a dazzling start to their campaign, the two-time champions lost twice to Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals to slip down the points table.