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Cricket World Cup 2019

Andre Russell: I’ll be ready to take on Australia

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Andre Russell brushed off concerns over his fitness after his spiteful bowling cameo paved the way for West Indies’ opening Cricket World Cup win.

Pakistan never recovered after losing two wickets to Russell in three lively overs at Trent Bridge on Friday, with dangerous opener Fakhar Zaman undone by a bouncer which crashed into his helmet and onto the stumps.

The all-rounder was left limping by his exertions in the field, a worrying development for a player with a history of knee trouble playing just a third one-day international since the 2015 World Cup.

But with West Indies’ next game against Australia not scheduled until Thursday at Trent Bridge, Russell is confident of featuring.

“I’ve been playing for years with these knee injuries,” he said. “And sometimes it feels worse than some days but, at the end of the day, I’m a professional.

“I know what to do to get back. I think I have five days before the next game so that is more than enough time to get my knee back to normal and get it settled.

“Let’s just see what happens. I have a good physio team, massage team, here so they’re going to be working with me closely for the next couple of days.”

Russell, who has a strike rate of 130.45 in his 53 ODis, is expected to contribute heavily with the bat this summer, but the 31-year-old is determined to play an all-round role.

“I want to make sure that my knee is 100 per cent or if it’s not 100, 80. I’m still ready to bowl.

“I’m ready, this is the World Cup. So I don’t mind resting for a month or two months after the World Cup but I want to leave everything here.”

Chris Gayle was also moving gingerly in Nottingham during an innings of 50, during which he took the outright record for most World Cup sixes hit, but captain Jason Holder said after the game: “He’s getting on, that’s it!”

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