WI vs IND 2019: Andre Russell rules himself out of the first two T20Is against India, Jason Mohammed named replacement
Star all-rounder Andre Russell has pulled himself out of the first two T20Is against India after he felt 'some discomfort' while playing in the Global T20 Canada league. 32-year-old Jason Mohammed has been named as his replacement.
Just a few months ago, Andre Russell entered the 2019 World Cup with a lot of expectations behind his back after some stellar performances during the Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders. However, Russell, popularly known as 'Dre Russ' by his adoring fans, struggled with his knee and was subsequently was ruled out of the latter half of the World Cup.
The 31-year-old Russell then underwent surgery to recover from a long-standing knee problem. He made his comeback to top-flight cricket and started to play for the Vancouver Knights in the Global T20 Canada league. In fact, despite ruling himself out of the games against India, Russell was curiously picked in Vancouver's playing XI for the match against Edmonton Royals on Friday.
While this leads to a lot of confusion, interim head coach Floyd Reifer welcomed Jason Mohammed into the squad with some positive comments.
"We welcome Jason Mohammed into the squad for the first two T20 matches here in Florida. He is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and - having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors," said Floyd Reifer, West Indies' interim head coach.
"It's difficult to fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world - and won the ICC T20 World Cup for the West Indies on two occasions, but we believed Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and help us win games a well," he further added.
Andre Russell's replacement, Jason Mohammed has played 9 T20I so far with the last of those caps coming against Pakistan in 2018 when he led a second-string West Indies team on the short tour of Pakistan.
The first T20I of the three-match series between India and West Indies will be played on August 3rd at Lauderhill, Florida.