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IPL 2019: Match 38, SRH vs KKR – Sunrisers Hyderabad’s plan for Andre Russell

Andre Russell walked to bat at No.7 with only 27 balls left in the KKR's innings.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sunrisers Hyderabad
Bhuvneshwar Kumar. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The major talking point ahead of the game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad was Andre Russell’s hitting and his batting position. His entry was a delayed one as he walked to bat in the 16th over despite scoring 40+ in seven out of eight innings prior to this game in 2019 IPL. Russell found himself in an unusual situation of batting with the lower-order due to his late entry.

It seemed as if Bhuvneshwar Kumar took a cue from Marcus Stoinis’ dot balls to Russell on the other night in Kolkata. The pacer fired in a bouncer but the power of the Caribbean all-round saw the ball fly over the mid-wicket fielder. Bhuvi followed it up with a low full toss on the leg stump as he missed a yorker by a little margin. However, Russell ended up hitting it straight to Rashid Khan at deep mid-wicket.

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The actual plan for Russell from the Sunrisers Hyderabad was to have their strike bowler Rashid Khan bowling at the death. He was brought into the attack in the 10th over and only bowled one more (13th) before Russell arrived. Rashid was saved for the 18th and 20th overs but the duel lasted for only one ball. Piyush Chawla failed to connect the last five balls in the 18th over while Russell got out in the penultimate over.

Saving two overs for Russell

Prior to this game, Rashid Khan dismissed Russell twice by conceding 29 runs in 16 balls in the Twenty20 format. Majority of Russell’s success against Rashid came during the charity T20I between Windies and World XI. The leg-spinner was taken for 19 runs across four balls by Russell including the three sixes during the 19th over of Windies innings. Rashid got Andre Russell caught in the slips during the last year’s Qualifier game and cleaned him up during the Afghanistan Premier League (APL) game in October.

“The plan was to have my two overs saved for him (Russell) and let see what happens. The way he hit in this tournament is unbelievable. He has been unstoppable against the fast bowlers. I wanted to try my best and hope the better things. I have a little good record against him as I got him two times (in T20s). I bowled only one ball to him but still, I think the two overs at the end would have made a little difference.” Rashid Khan said after the game.

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