Andre Russell is the most valuable T20 player going around: Krishnamachari Srikkanth

Russell played a couple of thunderous knocks against SRH and KXIP.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth
Krishnamachari Srikkanth. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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Former India batsman Krishnamachari Srikkanth has singled out Kolkata Knight Riders star Andre Russell as the most valuable player in the T20 format. Srikkanth’s comments have come in the wake of two breathtaking performances from the Jamaican in the ongoing Indian Premier League. Russell has made his presence felt by playing two unbelievable knocks so far, helping the Knight Riders start their season with two impressive wins.

Russell blew away Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab to walk away with the Man of the Match award in both the games. If he delivered during a tight chase against the Sunrisers then he smoked the Kings XI bowlers all over the park in the following game to power the Knight Riders to their highest ever total at the Eden Gardens. Russell has so far faced just 36 deliveries but has already hit nine sixes and 7 fours while coming towards the fag end in both the games.

In the Knight Riders’ first game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad, he had scored 49 off just 19 balls to help the team collect the required 53 runs from 18 balls with two balls remaining while chasing 182. In the next game against Kings XI Punjab, he blazed his way to 48 runs off 17 despite scoring just 4 runs off his first 6 balls, powering the team to a record total of 218 for 4. Russell had then impressed with the ball too, dismissing Chris Gayle and Sarfaraz Khan to derail Kings XI’s chase.

“The shortest format is also the one that throws every possible logic out of the window. How else can one explain a solitary batsman, consuming only 20 deliveries, making up for the mistakes of all his teammates? Andre Russell cannot be termed a freak one-match magician anymore. He has turned games on their heads far too regularly. Opponents have to keep in mind that a 20-ball half-century is on the cards whenever he walks out to bat. Add his exceptional use of the short ball and the razor-sharp fielding and he is the most valuable T20 player going around,” Krishnamachari Srikkanth wrote in his column for The Times of India (TOI).

Role of impact players have grown:

With the players having not much time in T20s to make an impact with either the bat and the ball, Srikkanth said that the role of players who manage to make an impact in quick time has grown. He also expressed his excitement over the way the tournament has started.

“The role of the impact player has grown. T20 cricket is all about one rollicking inning or an incisive two-over spell that can win a game. Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Pollard, and Russell are all players who have done great service to their respective franchise by pulling them out of the woods with their exploits. It should come as no surprise that the teams that go on to do well in this edition of the IPL will have their impact players doing well. The tournament is warming up nicely and we have all been witness to some good cricket already,”  he opined.

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