Andre Russell's brilliant cameo of 45 off just 27 balls has allowed the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to post a competitive total of 154-6 on the board against the Delhi Capitals (DC). The birthday boy struggled a bit in the first half of his innings but later made up for it through his belligerent hitting.
KKR failed to get going once again and lost wickets at regular intervals. But that allowed Andre Russell to walk out to bat at just about the halfway mark of the KKR innings. He scored just 16 runs off his first 18 balls and the DC bowlers seemed to have a tight grip on the Jamaican.
Twitter hails Andre Russell for valiant 45*
But Andre Russell accelerated brilliantly and ensured KKR had something to bowl at. KKR fans hailed the West Indian all-rounder for his efforts to cover up another embarrassing batting performance from their team.
The likes of Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine didn't trouble the scorers, although they had enough time to get settled at the crease. Although Shubman Gill scored a fine 40, he got it at almost a run-a-ball which certainly didn't help KKR's cause at all.
Fans were also frustrated with repeated inconsistency in the KKR batting department. Here is how they reacted to KKR's batting and Andre Russell's rearguard action:
KKR will once again need to think about their opening combination. Although both Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana are quality players, they rely more on timing than brute force. Their lack of urgency in the powerplay puts immense pressure on the likes of Morgan and others to accelerate towards the backend of the innings.
Another issue they need to address would be the batting position of Sunil Narine. No.5 certainly doesn't look like his best position and it showed as he is someone who likes to play his shots. Narine failed as an opener last season and thus, KKR will be reluctant to try him at the top of the order again.
There are questions aplenty for KKR and time is running out for them to save their season.