IPL 2019: Andre Russell is a special player for us, says Karthik

Andre Russell played a bellicose knock of 62, continuing through despite being in pain after getting hit on the shoulder by a beamer. Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight Riders captain, called him “an absolute team man.”

Kolkata Knight Riders' Andre Russell sends one to the fence during his knock of 62 against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.   -  Sportzpics/BCCI

Andre Russell received a jolt in the 14th over when he was starting to provide impetus to Kolkata Knight Riders’ faltering innings at the Feroze Shah Kotla here. He was hit by a beamer from Harshal Patel and he immediately collapsed to the ground clutching his left shoulder.

After receiving medical attention, however, he continued in the same vein as before. Moreover, he walloped Patel for two mighty sixes as well as the Knight Riders provided a fighting total on the board in the Indian Premier League clash against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.

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After the conclusion of the thrilling contest, which his side lost in a Super Over, skipper Dinesh Karthik revealed that Russell had a bruise on his left shoulder. He saluted the West Indian all-rounder for playing on for the team despite the pain.

“That’s the greatness of Russell, even with his injured left shoulder he kept batting for the team. He’s an absolute team man. He’s a special person and a special player for us. I think his shoulder’s a little bruised, so it’ll be interesting to see how he pulls up. There’s the fact that he batted through and bowled for us which is brilliant for us,” Karthik said.

Andre Russell celebrates after reaching his half-century against the Delhi Capitals at the Feroze Shah Kotla Ground in Delhi on Saturday.   -  SPORTZPICS

 

He credited his team for fighting till the last ball for a nail-biting finish. “Super-over games…always feel like it was very close. At the end of the day only one team can win and it just boiled down to the last couple of balls and [Kagiso] Rabada executed it really well. The good thing was that we fought,” Karthik said.

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The pitch, for a change, did not appear to impede batsmen’s flow in the middle. Karthik confessed, however, that the pitch wasn’t as easy to play on as it appeared to be. “It was holding up a little bit. I think they bowled some good areas and they had some good plans in place. The ball was a little sticky; you didn’t feel that when Russell was batting but when the others were batting it did feel a little sticky,” he contended.

When Delhi Capitals batted, they reserved special treatment for Kuldeep Yadav, the left-arm chinaman bowler. Yadav gave away 33 runs off his first two overs, providing Capitals a push. He came back well, however, giving away just eight runs off his next two overs – the 18th and 20th overs, and it prevented Capitals from running away with the game.

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Assessing his performance, Karthik said, “Kuldeep is a quality bowler. He himself will assess what he did. The way he bowled the last two overs was pretty much what he is as a bowler. He can bowl some real pressure overs. I think he himself will feel that he could have bowled a little better in the first couple of overs. Having said that they also played some good shots. But Kuldeep is a world-class bowler, so we expect better things out of him but the way he came back is again testament for how strong he is as a person,” Karthik said.

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