New Delhi, May 5: Flamboyant West Indies cricketer Andre Russell has earned the reputation of a big hitter with his blitzkriegs in the Indian Premier League.
The explosive Jamaican all-rounder, who represents two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders, stunned Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with his imperious knock of 13-ball 48. Riding on Russell's power-packed performance, KKR thrashed RCB in the latter's backyard in a mammoth run chase in IPL 2019.
According to Russell, the seeds of the defeat were sown by RCB skipper Virat Kohli himself and paid the price of provoking the swashbuckler.
Speaking during an interview with Knights Unplugged, Russell revealed what triggered that carnage at M Chinnaswamy and said, "Dinesh Karthik got one boundary or two then he got out. He hit the ball and I think Virat Kohli took the catch. Virat Kohli turned to Venky (KKR CEO Venky Mysore) where all the wives and KKR supporters were and he is like 'come on'. When I looked up, like something triggered in my head like, hell no this is not over."
KKR skipper was dismissed by Navdeep Saini at the crucial juncture with the visitors still requiring 53 off 24 deliveries. Russell was new to the crease and he was joined by young Shubman Gill into the middle at No.7. Russell - being a senior player and pumped-up by Kohli's animated celebration- had a chat with him.
"When Shubman Gill walked out, I said hey listen I am gonna take down anybody that bowls. Anyone who comes on I am gonna take them down. So just try to give me as much strike as possible. He said, 'anything you say big man', Boom. Since then, the game, it was like six after six and every time I was hitting a six I was not even looking at the scoreboard because sometimes you get carried away with the crowd and everything," he added further.
Speaking more about his knock Dre Russ said, "Every time after hitting a six I would go to Shubman, punch the gloves with him and go back to take as much deep breath as possible, that allows you to become calm. Looking around is like a waste of energy."
KKR won that game by five wickets with as many balls to spare. During the post-match presentation, Kohli admitted that he was also amazed with Russell's knock. Kohli had scored 84 off 49 deliveries in that game but his fine innings was overshadowed by Russell's power-packed performance.