IPL 2021 Eliminator: “If Russell has to come in, would flick Morgan out” - Brad Hogg previews RCB-KKR clash

KKR all-rounder Andre Russell. Pic: IPLT20.COM
KKR all-rounder Andre Russell. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg feels Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan should drop himself from the playing XI if the franchise want to play Andre Russell in the Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

RCB and KKR will face-off in the Eliminator of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 on Monday in Sharjah. The winner of the contest will meet the loser of Qualifier 1 to fight for a place in the final.

According to Hogg, KKR must avoid playing Russell in the Eliminator because New Zealand speedster Lockie Ferguson has also just returned from an injury. He added that if KKR do take a risk with Russell, Shakib Al Hasan should not be dropped at any cost.

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Previewing the RCB vs KKR contest on his YouTube channel, the former chinaman bowler opined:

“It would be a huge risk to bring Russell in if he is fit to play. Also, they might have to take out one of their prominent players who has performed so well in the last couple of games - Shakib Al Hasan. I wouldn’t take that risk because you have Ferguson coming back from injury as well. If one of them (Russell or Ferguson) goes down, then you haven’t got a frontline bowler to finish off the overs.”
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Hogg pointed out that Shakib’s presence lends greater balance to the KKR playing XI and hence he should be retained for the clash against RCB. The 50-year-old added:

"Shakib is a good match up for the top 3 against RCB. He is a very wily bowler and very good in the powerplay as well. He can also handle the bat. If Russell has to come back in with all those issues, I would flick Morgan out of the team and get (Dinesh) Karthik to captain. It’s a huge move in a big playoff game, but sometimes you have got to have that sacrifice to have better balance in the team.”

Shakib claimed 1 for 20 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and 1 for 1 (in one over) against Rajasthan Royals (RR).

“Favoring KKR in match up against RCB” - Brad Hogg


Although KKR finished fourth in the points table after the league stage, Hogg believes they are a better balanced outfit compared to RCB. He backed KKR to put it across Virat Kohli’s men in the Eliminator. Explaining his stance, the former left-arm spinner stated:

“KKR have got mystery spinners as well - Chakravarthy as well as Narine. They are going to be very good match-ups against the likes of De Villiers and Maxwell. I also like KKR’s batting line-up against RCB bowlers. They have got a mixture of right-hand and left-hand batters all the way down the list. They can take on the spinners. With the pace bowlers of RCB, there is no one with genuine pace to upset the middle-order of KKR. Favoring KKR in this match up against RCB.”
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RCB beat KKR by 38 during the India leg of IPL 2021. But when the two sides met in the UAE, KKR crushed the same opponents by nine wickets.

Edited by Samya Majumdar
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