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T20 World Cup 2021: "If fit enough, he brings balance into the side and can make a difference" - Ajit Agarkar on Andre Russell  

West Indies v Bangladesh - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
West Indies v Bangladesh - ICC Cricket World Cup 2019
Naman Jain
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Former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar lauded West Indian star Andre Russell's all-round abilities and believes he can be the difference-maker for his nation in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.

The all-rounder, courtesy of his hamstring, missed quite a few matches for his IPL franchise the Kolkata Knight Riders in the second half of the tournament. However, the 33-year-old took part in West Indies' second warm-up game against Afghanistan and even rolled his arm over for a couple of overs.

While speaking with ESPNcricinfo, former right-armer Ajit Agarkar mentioned that Russell proved to be a vital asset for KKR and can be of the same importance for the West Indies. The 43-year-old opined that if fit enough to bowl two or three overs, Russell can make a huge difference for his side. Agarkar said:

"It was very clear in the IPL that when he was bowling for KKR, Andre Russell proved a vital asset for them. If he's fit enough, he brings balance into the side because he bowls difficult overs very aggressively. If he can bowl even 2 or 3 overs for West Indies, he can make the difference. We all know he can win you matches single-handedly."

The Caribbean team has the luxury of having out-and-out T20 match-winners in Russell, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle, and Dwayne Bravo.


"Moeen Ali would be wasted at No.7, he should bat at No.3 " - Ajit Agarkar

The former cricketer-turned-expert also had his say on the possible confusion the English team may have to face regarding their batting order. Almost every batter, including Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan, likes to bat up the order.

Despite Malan being the highest-ranked T20 batter in the world, Agarkar urged England to play Moeen Ali at No. 3. He added that the Pakistan-descent all-rounder tackles the spin bowling really well.

Despite amassing plentiful runs over the last couple of years, Malan's strike rate of 127 against spinners is among the lowest. Meanwhile, Moeen Ali strikes at around 166 per 100 against the slow bowlers.

Agarkar opined that Moeen Ali's batting will be misused if he bats at No. 7. Agarkar said:

"I would like to see Moeen bat at No. 3. He can play a different role for the side. Yes, Malan has scored runs for England but when Moeen performed well in the IPL, his team won almost every match. He tackles spin very well. He's perfect for No. 3. At No. 7, I think he's wasted."

It remains to be seen what the English batting order will look like when the 50-over World Champions take on the T20 World Cup Champions on October 23 in Dubai.


Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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