The Delhi Daredevils all-rounder Andre Russell picked up his West Indian compatriot Sunil Narine of the IPL 6 opening tie opponent Kolkata Knight Riders, as the man to watch out for.
“He (Narine) is really difficult to play. He bowls really well in the Caribbean conditions. You can’t really play big shots to him as you don't know which way the ball is going to turn,” Russell said on Monday.
“It is important not to lose wickets. It will be wiser to be cautious against him and take on other bowlers to bridge the gap,” he added.
With the Daredevils missing big international names like Kevin Pietersen and Jesse Ryder, Russell said he hopes to fill in the blanks.
“Hopefully I will fit into that slot and try to contribute my best effort. We have to be like individuals who can fill in the gap,” he said. “I am confident of playing a good role for the side. I have had some good performance and that gives me confidence,” Russell added.
Weighing his team’s chances in the upcoming edition, Russell said there are no clear favourites in the tournament. “T20 has a very unpredictable format. Any team can dominate on a given day if you go on top. Things look good for us this year and we will try to do our best,” he said.
The Kolkata Knight Riders’ local star Laxmi Ratan Shukla hoped to turn out some good performances for his side.
Shukla, who did fairly well as an all-rounder for Bengal in the domestic season, said he was hopeful of getting more exposure with the city-based IPL side.
“The IPL is virtually an international event with the best players from across the world participating. It is a big platform for all of us and I will try to give my best. I have had a good preparation this year,” he said.
Looking ahead to his team’s opener against the Daredevils, Shukla said his team has a good record against the visitor and hoped for a positive start.
“We always have a good record against Delhi Daredevils. We hope to start on a winning note,” he said.
“Having seen it (IPL) for the last five editions, we are all getting used to the pressure. The mental factor is most important aspect in this scenario. The confidence of winning the title last year will definitely help us,” he said.