IPL 2021: "KKR have a bazooka but they are not using it"- Aakash Chopra on Andre Russell's batting position

KKR held back Andre Russell in the batting order [P/C:]
KKR held back Andre Russell in the batting order [P/C:]
Kartik Iyer

Aakash Chopra has said that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are underutilizing Andre Russell, who is their most destructive weapon, by sending him too low in the batting order.

Russell came into bat only in the 16th over of the KKR innings in their IPL 2021 encounter against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Eoin Morgan-led side was at a well below-par 94/5 at that stage and expected a herculean effort from the Jamaican to take them to a respectable score.

While reflecting on the KKR batting performance in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out Andre Russell was left with very few deliveries to make an impression.

"KKR is not giving Russell his full batting. They are sending him for too few deliveries. KKR have a bazooka but they are not using it. The opposition team is scared that Russell will come and hit but he comes so late, how will he create an impact," said Chopra.


The cricketer-turned-commentator opined Russell should have been sent in to bat instead of Dinesh Karthik when Morgan was dismissed in the 11th over.

"There are some tactical blunders to be honest. When the wicket had fallen after 10.2 overs, considering what had happened in the last match, I would have sent Andre Russell. It is possible it might not have worked out but what if it had gone well. I think they are missing a trick with Andre Russell, he should be playing more balls," added Chopra.

Russell came into bat at the fall of Rahul Tripathi's wicket in the 16th over. Tripathi and Karthik added just 33 runs in the five overs after Morgan's dismissal, thereby putting KKR further behind the eight ball.

"KKR were in a slight hangover" - Aakash Chopra

KKR scored just 25 runs in the powerplay overs [P/C:]
KKR scored just 25 runs in the powerplay overs [P/C:]

Aakash Chopra observed KKR's top-order batting collapse in their last match against CSK probably made them take a conservative approach in Saturday's encounter.

"KKR were in a slight hangover, that their start was very bad in the last match as they were reduced to 31/5, and would go slow this time around. This is not a surface where you go slow. This is a surface where you throw caution to the winds," said Chopra.

The former KKR player criticized Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana for not even attempting to take the attack to the RR bowlers.

"Shubman Gill was playing very slowly and Nitish Rana was also trying. Shubman Gill got run out in the end and the power was not seen at all in the powerplay. Definitely, the bowling was good but it was not that good that you don't try at all to score the quick runs," concluded Chopra.

Gill and Rana scored just 24 runs in the first 5.4 overs of the KKR innings, putting enormous pressure on the KKR middle order. With wickets falling at regular intervals thereafter, the two-time IPL champions were restricted to a score of 133/9 on a batting-friendly Wankhede surface.

Edited by Sai Krishna
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