West Indies vs South Africa: Hosts recall Andre Russell for the first two T20Is

Russell last played in the T20I series against Sri Lanka back in March 2020 where he became the Player of the Series for his whirlwind knocks.

Andre Russell
Andre Russell. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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West Indies have recalled Andre Russell for the first two T20Is of the five-match series against South Africa. On Friday, June 25, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced a 13-man squad for the games that will be played at the National Cricket Stadium, St George’s, Grenada.

After making his debut way back in 2011, Russell has played 49 T20Is in which he scored 540 runs and picked up 26 wickets. He last played in the format back in March 2020 against Sri Lanka in Pallekele where he scored 40 off 14 balls at a strike rate of 285.71.

In fact, he also became the Player of the Series and he hasn’t donned the national colours ever since. The Jamaican, thereafter, has played for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (PSL) and Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

‘X-factor’ Andre Russell makes a comeback

During the PSL, he returned after only playing one game where he suffered a concussion. About his return to the West Indies team, chief selector Roger Harper said that the veteran brings an ‘X-factor’ due to his effectiveness in all the departments.

Moreover, Harper, also a former Caribbean cricketer, talked about the importance of developing a potent squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. “Andre Russell will add that ‘X’ factor to the team. He is an impact player with both bat and ball and lends greater depth in both departments.

“The aim is to build on the performance against Sri Lanka earlier this year, to build confidence while determining our best squad and team as we run into the ICC T20 World Cup,” Harper was quoted as saying in Cricbuzz.

Here’s the West Indies squad:

Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (VC), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair

West Indies are currently ranked 10th in the ICC rankings for T20I teams. Earlier this year, Kieron Pollard and Co beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in the three-match T20I series. West Indies also became the champions in the 2012 and 2016 editions of the T20 World Cup.