Manish: ‘Russell’s absence bit of worry for KKR’

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Manish Pandey feels that West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell’s absence will be a cause of concern for the team in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Having played three years for KKR, Kolkata has become just like a home to Manish Pandey.   -  Photo: Vivek Bendre

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Manish Pandey feels that West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell’s absence will be a cause of concern for the team in the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Manish, who is here as the Karnataka captain for the Vijay Hazare Trophy, said KKR would miss Russell, who had been suspended for one year due to a doping violation. “Russell has been a match winner for us for a long time and he being not in the side would be a little bit of worry for us. But we have people, if not better, with similar talent and abilities to replace him,” said Manish.

On the inclusion of Englishman Chris Woakes and New Zealander Trent Boult in the KKR team, Manish said, “Woakes and Boult will be really good. It will be of good help to us as all-rounders are coming in. These two players will definitely make a lot of difference.”

Having played three years for KKR, Manish said, “Coming back to Kolkata is like coming back to your own home. It feels like home—the grass, the dressing room (of the Eden Gardens). We have spent about two-and-a-half months during the IPLs. Robin (Uthappa) and I had some partnerships (for KKR) before. “On the other hand the cricket remains the same. Nothing changes. We will try and take some advantage from the things we know about – the wicket and the grass. That will be a big help.”