Tuesday , October 26 2021

MI vs KKR: Will Andre Russell find his mojo back at IPL 2021

andre russell
Image Source : IPLT20.COM

File photo of Andre Russell (right).

 

Kolkata Knight Riders have resumed their IPL 2021 campaign with a bang as they thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by nine wickets before bundling them out for an embarrassing total of 92. Andre Russell proved his mettle in the match with a remarkable bowling spell of 3/9 after Varun Chakravarthy broke the backbone of Virat Kohli-led side.

Russell’s performance in the recent past has been consistent with the ball as he has picked 13 wickets in his last 10 matches (including CPL 2021), making him an important member of the KKR bowling setup. However, the same couldn’t be said about his batting with as the last 10 matches also saw him produced an innings beyond the score of 30 just once in the last 10 games.

KKR recently found their best opening combination in Venkatesh Iyer, who scored a responsible but aggressive 41* on his debut, while Shubman Gill also got his mojo back with a fluent 48 in the last match. However, question mark over KKR middle-order’s form remains with the likes of Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Rahul Tripathy and lastly Russell blowing hot and cold.

Russell’s form (163 runs in 8 games), or lack of it, has become a cause of concern for the Kolkata outfit, who have been making desperate attempts to be in the title run for the past two-three seasons including a change in captaincy. Alarmingly, Russell has crossed the 50-mark just once in the last 20 innings in IPL after his weakness against short deliveries directed at his chest has been found out.

 He had a pale outing at the recently-concluded Caribbean Premier League, where he scored a personal season-best of unsatisfactory 31; putting his batting credentials as a reliable match-winner further in doubt. However, a closer look suggests that the batsman never had a settled batting position with the Jamaican Tallawahs as he was being rotated at several batting positions including as low as NO. 8. It could be understood that the idea was to exploit the pinch-hitter at the death overs but scoring at a strike rate of 142.85 suggests the plan didn’t really work.

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For comparison, the burly Jamaican has scored at strike rates of 200.5 and 175.5 at batting positions 5 and 6 respectively over the last three years. For KKR, the strike rate gets as high as 244.8 and 184.5 at the respective batting slots. 

A glance at his overall T20 career also suggests that the batsmen is best suited in the middle-order.

Performance Analysis by Batting Position in IPL 

Position Inns NO 50s 100s HS   Runs Avg S/R
Opening                
No. 3 5 2 1 0 80* 128 42.67 196.92
No. 4 10 0 0 0 36 178 17.80 167.92
No. 5 13 3 1 0 55* 324 32.40 189.47
No. 6 22 4 2 0 65 473 26.28 189.20
No. 7 17 3 5 0 88* 572 40.86 172.29
No. 8 2 0 0 0 4 5 2.50 38.46
No. 9                
No. 10                
No. 11                
Overall 69 12 9 0 88* 1680 29.47 179.30

 

In T20I for West Indies

Position Inns NO 100s 50s 0s HS   Runs Avg S/R Ca St
3 4 1 0 0 0 35* 80 26.67 163.27 1 0
4 4 1 0 0 0 35 79 26.33 171.74 1 0
5 8 4 0 0 0 43* 159 39.75 193.90 2 0
6 21 7 0 1 5 51 272 19.43 151.11 6 0
7 13 4 0 0 1 25 126 14.00 128.57 1 0
8 2 1 0 0 1 0* 0 0.00   0 0
Overall 52 18 0 1 7 51 716 21.06 156.33 15 0
 

Statistics credit: Howstats

This only suggests that it will be wiser to play him at batting position where he does most of the damage and let him settle instead of holding him for the deaths and overburden him with the responsibility of going for the kill from the word go.

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