It’s been nearly 10 years since Andre Russell played his only Test match.
Against Sri Lanka at Galle, Russell ended the Test with figures of 1-104 and just two runs from his solitary innings. Now 31 and not having played a first-class match in over six years, it seems increasingly unlikely that Russell will feature in another Test for West Indies.
Russell’s name cropped up in a discussion on the latest Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast when the panel of Ben Gardner, Phil Walker, Jo Harman and Yas Rana were picking a ‘What could have been’ XI of players who played a limited amount of Test cricket since 1990. This is what Phil and Ben said about Russell’s potential in Test cricket:
Phil Walker: I went with Andre Russell. I just think the modern game, with him at seven or eight bowling 90 miles per hour as a partnership breaker. If he had the body and more centrally, the mind to be moved by Test cricket and also the pitches as well, it must be a thankless task bowling quick into the pitch in the West Indies. He could been become an interesting Test match cricketer.
Ben Gardner: I find the Andre Russell thing intriguing. As well as the reasons Phil mentioned, there’s the discord in West Indies cricket that had its effect on his career. [Had it not been there it] might have led him to play more Test cricket.
I don’t think there’s any lack of love from him for the Caribbean. I’d almost want to include him just to signify that. During the World Cup he was getting some stick during the Bangladesh defeat for staying on the field when he was clearly not fit and was not really able to chase after the ball but he was doing it because he knew that one over from him at full pelt could turn the game for the West Indies.
He put his body through hell just for the sake of that national cause. I’m quite fond of him as a cricketer and think that in a side that could afford to include him he’d have been a really devastating Test cricketer. Could he be a six though? That’s the question.