IPL 2019: Russell calls for flexibility in KKR's batting order following narrow loss to RCB

Sudhir Gupta 10:54 20/04/2019
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Russell and Nitish Rana. Image - @KKRiders/Twitter.

Andre Russell feels that he can bat much higher up the order for Kolkata Knight Riders after his late assault on Friday was unable to prevent a 10-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The loss was the fourth straight one for KKR in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign and it left Dinesh Karthik’s men languishing in sixth spot in the table.

Chasing a daunting 214 for victory, Kolkata gave Bangalore a royal scare with Russell and Nitish Rana almost pulling off an improbable chase for the hosts at the Eden Gardens.

Russell struck 65 runs from just 25 deliveries with the help of nine sixes and two boundaries while Rana remained unbeaten on 85 (46) but the late arrival to the crease of the former played its part in KKR falling just short.

The Windies all-rounder only arrived at the crease at the end of the 12th over when Robin Uthappa became the fourth Kolkata wicket to fall. By the time Russell walked in to bat, the required rate for the hosts had already started shot up above 15 runs an over and that proved to be too big a mountain for even him to climb.

“Look, we were chasing 214 runs and weren’t in the best state when I went out to bat,” the KKR star man said after the narrow loss.

“When Nitish asked what I thought, I said ‘I bat one way – and that’s positive.’ But to go out there and chasing 14-15 per over, it’s not the best way you want to start as a batsman.

“I’m used to these situations, but why I say it’s a sweet and sour feeling is because we need to learn from this, as a team. We need to learn that we can get 214. And to lose by 10 runs, well, we were just two hits away.”

When asked if he should be batting higher up the order at No4, Russell replied, “I believe that.”

“Honestly, you have to sometimes be flexible as a team. When you look at the make-up of our team, I don’t mind going to bat at No4,” he added.

Russell and KKR will hope to reignite their campaign on Sunday when they take on last season’s runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad in an away clash.

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