IPL 2021: Eoin Morgan reveals why Andre Russell walked into bat at No. 3 against RCB

Andre Russell and Virat Kohli shake hands after the end of match 31 of IPL 2021. Pic: IPLT20.COM
Andre Russell and Virat Kohli shake hands after the end of match 31 of IPL 2021. Pic: IPLT20.COM

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) captain Eoin Morgan explained that the decision to send Andre Russell to bat at No. 3 on Monday was made keeping the net run rate situation in mind.

Russell walked into bat at the one-down position during KKR’s chase of 93 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 31 of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) in Abu Dhabi. Russell did not face a single ball, though, as debutant Venkatesh Iyer (41 not out off 27) cracked three fours off Yuzvendra Chahal to take KKR past the victory line in commanding style.

At a virtual press conference following KKR’s nine-wicket drubbing of RCB, Morgan was asked about the decision to promote Russell in the batting order.

“Given the way that we played today and the position that we found ourselves in, we had an opportunity to really affect our run-rate position. Hence Russ (Andre Russell) was sent up the order,” the KKR captain explained.

With Monday's win, KKR moved up to No. 5 in the points table and have a net run-rate of +0.110

On whether the move is something that the team could follow in the future as well, Morgan responded:

“It is all open to interpretation.”

Russell was sent into bat after KKR’s openers - Shubman Gill (48 off 34) and Iyer - added a sparkling 82 for the opening wicket.

Varun Chakaravarthy and Andre Russell all smiles for the #IPLSelfie post #KKR's victory.#VIVOIPL

“Pitch was probably more seamer-friendly” - Morgan on Andre Russell bowling in the middle overs

Usually, Morgan brings Russell on to bowl directly in the death overs. However, against RCB, Russell was introduced in the middle overs and proved highly effective. Asked to elaborate on the decision, Morgan stated:

“The match-ups we tried today really worked. The pitch, the way it played throughout the whole innings, was probably more seamer-friendly even though Varun Chakravarthy had an unbelievable day. It lent itself to seamers with, probably, bigger size boundaries than any other here in the UAE.”

Russell (3/9) got the massive wicket of dangerman AB de Villiers (0) with an unplayable yorker that even the South Africa legend couldn’t keep out. The KKR all-rounder also got the scalps of Srikar Bharat (16) and Mohammed Siraj (8) as RCB folded for 92.

3⃣ Overs9⃣ Runs3⃣ Wickets@Russell12A put on an absolute show with the ball in Abu Dhabi 👍 👍 #VIVOIPL #KKRvRCB @KKRiders Sit back & relive his 3-wicket haul against #RCB 🎥 👇…

While Russell was one of the star performers for KKR with the ball, Chakravarthy walked away with the Man of the Match award for his exceptional spell of 3 for 13.

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Edited by Sai Krishna
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