Sport, in general throws at us a lot of stories each day. If a few stories can be inspiring, few can be enthralling and captivating while few can be reminiscent of the glorious past. These stories either depict the legacy of great sportspersons or on the other hand can cover the tales of little known players who were waiting under the wings for a long time before they could finally showcase their talents on bigger and better stages.
As far as cricket is concerned, the players who previously just had international cricket as a mega platform to shine now have various leagues around the world like IPL which offers them the center stage to write their own stories of character, grit, flamboyance, and greatness.
Throughout the various previous editions of IPL, we have come across many dramatic stories of not only Indian players but also various overseas players whose careers were not only revived but also transformed into something spectacular following a heroic IPL season.
If we have a close look at this season of IPL, we are just nearing the end of the second week of IPL, but we already have a few extraordinary stories to narrate. However, none of them is as remarkable, as incredible and as awe-inspiring as Andre Russell’s breathtaking run at this year’s IPL so far.
His performances with the bat have been so dominant, so powerful that he has made a team sport look like a one-man army whenever he has stepped out with a bat in his hand. There was always something intriguing about Russell, especially the way he batted throughout the years, but at this year’s IPL, it is all about transcending the ability into mighty fine performances.
The way he bats and carries himself on the field, we almost instantly come across the West Indian flair that he has, but importantly what appeals to us the most is his style which is reminiscent of the Windies of the 80s and the 90s, reminding us of those fabulous stories which revolved around the glory days of the men from the Caribbean.
So far Russell has played four matches and his inhuman strike-rates of 257, 282, 221 and 369 speak a jaw-dropping story for themselves. In spite of this being an age of T20 cricket where bowlers themselves have been habituated to being hit out of the park, Russell’s relentless, merciless plundering of bowlers right from the word go is truly incredible and the consistency with which he is doing so seems to be just from another planet.
The most fascinating facet of Russell’s recent onslaughts is his ability to help his team win from a position which appeared to be a far from possible situation to win from. And a hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) were the most recent casualty of Russell’s ridiculous ability to hit a cricket ball. KKR needed 53 runs from the last three overs when Russell was still relatively new to the crease and he was so brutal in his approach that before RCB realized anything the match was over with as many as 5 balls to spare.
So far he has amassed 207 runs in 4 matches at an astonishing strike-rate of 268 and to say he has taken IPL by a storm would just be a mere understatement. Now it remains to be seen for how long can he sustain this level of intensity and consistency, but one can guarantee that whenever he bats the way he is doing now, it is almost impossible to imagine KKR losing.
And can this season of IPL with stellar performances be a turning point for this big-hitting West Indian as he would be more than eager to transcend his league performances into substantial performances on international scenes for the West Indies as well? With the World Cup just around the corner, Russell striking the purple patch augurs well for the Windies.
Well, for Russell, many questions are still to be answered, but for now, it is the time to enjoy, appreciate and admire the performance of the big West Indian in the IPL.