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IPL: Andre Russell set to be fit for play-offs

Hussey admitted that there has been a change in fortunes for the KKR in the UAE after struggling in the Indian leg
Andre Russell

Our Bureau, Agencies   |   Calcutta, Sharjah   |   Published 09.10.21, 01:17 AM

Kolkata Knight Riders’ injured all-rounder Andre Russell is likely to be available for the play-offs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) beginning on Sunday, the team’s chief mentor David Hussey said. 

“He (Russell) had a fitness test on Wednesday, and I think he’s just maybe a game away. So, I think he’d be pushing hard over the next few days to get back in for the final (play-offs),” Hussey said at the post-match press conference on Thursday.           

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“(His availability) will be a huge boost not only for us but the competition. He’s world-class and he provides lots of entertainment.”

Hussey admitted that there has been a change in fortunes for the KKR in the UAE after struggling in the Indian leg. “At the halfway mark, we weren’t playing the type of cricket that we wanted to play. We are all about playing entertaining cricket — hitting fours, sixes — and with the ball, hitting the stumps, taking wickets, and fielding exceptionally well.

“So, the break probably did us a world of good… we got to refresh, recharge our batteries and re-plan and come to Abu Dhabi. Abhishek Nayar did a great training session, all the boys got a lot of volume and (were) ready to go,” explained Hussey on how the change occurred in the group.

He credited head coach Brendon McCullum for the way KKR were playing. “He (Brendon) is so cool and calm that he’s got this plan and vision for the team to go forward. He believes in every player to play their best. He makes everybody feel that they are the most important person in the team.

“Brendon should take a lot of credit for the way everybody’s playing here,” Hussey said.             

The 44-year-old former Australia cricketer also lavished praise on his players for putting up a team performance. “It is never easy playing on these types of surfaces. Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (and) Rahul Tripathi showed their class once again, they sort of adapted their games accordingly, and they knew if they take it deep in the batting innings, they are going to make a decent target,” he said.

“With the ball, pretty simple plans, bowled directly as fast as they can and at the stumps…. we have got some world-class spinners as well, and we back up each other in the field, so it was pretty much a team performance,” he said.



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