Kolkata Knight Riders team mentor David Hussey has indicated that all-rounder Andre Russell could bat up the order for the team this year, claiming he could even smash a T20 double ton if he gets enough deliveries to play with.
So far, no one has scored a double century in mainstream T20 cricket, the closest being the current record-holder Chris Gayle, who scored an unbeaten 175* in the IPL seven years ago. Russell, who has hit two T20 centuries with a high score of 121*, has the best strike-rate among batsmen in the IPL – an astonishing 186.41 from 64 games.
With the franchise having let go of Chris Lynn at the top of the order, Russell could have a more central role to play this year – Hussey hinted at a possible promotion to No.3 for the all-rounder.
“Why not?” Hussey said, when asked if Russell could bat up the order this year. “If it benefits the team and helps us win games of cricket, why not. If he comes in at No.3 and bats 60 balls, he might even score a double hundred. Anything can happen with Dre Russ. He is almost the heartbeat of the team.”
Russell has primarily batted from positions 5-7 in the IPL, having occupied the No.3 slot only four times in 52 innings. However, KKR will be looking at a rejigged batting order, especially with Lynn’s exit, but haven’t zeroed in on an opening combination yet.
"Lo and behold, the first name in 2011 auctions – Gautam Gambhir!"
When KKR made Gambhir the costliest IPL buy in 2011 👇https://t.co/iEPi5Stb9r
— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) August 25, 2020
“It’s up for discussion at the moment, and the head coach, Abhishek Nayar and captain [Dinesh] Karthik are yet to decide that,” Hussey said. “If anyone knows McCullum, he plays the game at 100 miles an hour and encourages his players to take the game on.
“With regards to Shubman Gill, he’s just one hell of a talent. Leave him alone, let him play, and you can see him score hundred after hundred in the IPL.”