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‘His mishits go for six’ – Bhuvneshwar explains bowlers’ approach against Russell

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, while in conversation with Deep Dasgupta on ESPNCricinfo, provided an insight into how bowlers can possibly face Andre Russell, the big-hitting West Indies all-rounder.

Bhuvneshwar claimed that luck plays a crucial factor while bowling against Russell, widely considered one of the most destructive batsmen in T20 cricket, as even his mishits tend to go for a six.

“One thing which matters a lot is the ground you’re playing on,” he said. “Dimensions of the ground, boundary and all matters a lot. You’re generally aware of the dimensions of the ground before the match, and you have a plan on where to bowl. But Russell is a powerful batsman, even his mishits go for a six, as we saw in the last IPL season.

“So somewhere down the line, you hope that he misses one ball. Or that his mistimed shots don’t go over the boundary. These things matter a lot. A lot of bowlers in the last IPL, including me, bowled yorkers on his legs and then one wide outside off to bluff him but he used to hit those balls for a six even while losing balance.

“So it’s tough to pinpoint where to bowl him but you do hope that his mistimed shots stay mistimed [and don’t go for a six]. He’s the kind of batsman against whom your luck matters a lot.”

Recalling an encounter between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders from IPL 2019, the Indian paceman explained how Russell’s power-hitting puts him a level above other batsmen in the T20 format. With KKR needing 53 runs from the last three overs, SRH looked to be in the driver’s seat, but Russell’s scintillating 19-ball-49 handed the Kolkata-based franchise an improbable win.

“I remember the first match of the last IPL, where I was the captain and he scored 52-odd runs in the final three overs. I still remember two-three of his sixes were so long that normal batsmen wouldn’t have managed even after middling the ball.”

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