Jamaican all-rounder Andre Russell heaped praise on Rinku Singh’s “fearlessness” saying the underrated batter was fast becoming Kolkata Knight Riders’ game-changer.
Russell himself made a great return to form with a whirlwind 42 (off 23 balls) setting the stage for KKR’s five-wicket win against Punjab Kings on Monday night at the Eden Gardens. But it was Rinku who realised the victory with a last-ball boundary.
This happened after Russell was run out off the penultimate ball of the innings leaving Rinku with the task of scoring the winning runs off the last ball of the innings.
‘Big man, no worries!’
“Rinku, who has been successful in the last few games for us, is a fearless player. Wherever you bowl he has a shot to counter that. I told him we need you and we need you at this point and he said ‘Big Man, no worries!’” Russell said.
“I am not sure whether I would have attempted a run in any other game, with any other batter at the opposite end. I have never really done those things before as I would back myself to bat till the last delivery and get the job done. But hen you have a batter like Rinku at the other end you can take risks,” added Russell.
On the three mighty sixes in the penultimate over, bowled by Sam Curran, Russell said, he wanted to keep the run chase down to the minimum in the last over.
“I was just thinking about getting three boundaries to make sure we go into the last over with the fewest runs as Arshdeep is a very good death bowler. Two-three dot balls could have changed the game. So, we were thinking about getting as many runs as possible in that over. “Six off six was ideal for us in the last over,” he said.
Russell said he tries to think like a bowler when batting and that helped him fire those sixes against Curran. “Curran was hitting on to my body and I hit two sixes in the longer area. I think like a bowler while batting as I knew he was not going to bowl in that area again. He had to do something else,” the gutsy Jamaican all-rounder said.
“The short ball he bowled (fourth delivery) I missed. He then bowled a slower cutter into the wicket and I just gave myself that little room and used my hands to get it over the field. That was the smaller side as well,” Russell said of his third six which he sliced over backward point.
“I could make out the opposition team’s plan and was able to conquer it. T20 is tough and you just need to stay as calm as possible both as bowler and batter in any situation,” Russell remarked.