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World Cup 2019: Andre Russell’s limping off ground against Australia irks Mark Waugh

Russell picked 2 wickets in 8 overs for West Indies before limping off the field.

Andre Russell
Andre Russell. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Defending champions Australia took on the West Indies in the World Cup at Trent Bridge on Thursday. Jason Holder won the toss and put the Aussies into bat first and they were reeling at 79 for 5 at one stage. The Caribbean pacers had just started off as they did against Pakistan at the same venue last Friday. However, the Australian lower order besides Steve Smith (73) resisted and the last five wickets saw more than 200 runs being added.

Nathan Coulter-Nile, who is playing the game as one of the main pacers, top-scored for the Australians with 92 in only 60 balls. The West Indies also had another scare as their dashing all-rounder Andre Russell was seen limping off the field with what seemed to be a knee injury. It was the 39th over of the match and the Smith-Coulter Nile pair was in full flow in that phase to add 102 runs in less than 14 overs to bring Australia back into the game. Russell had bowled eight overs in the game at the moment, conceding 41 runs and taking two wickets – of Usman Khawaja and wicket-keeper Alex Carey.

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Fitness has always been an issue for Russell

Fitness has been one issue for Russell and it has been particularly challenging for the Jamaican in the 50-over format. His durability in the ODIs has also been an issue and Russell had played just one game in 2018 and the match against Australia was his second in 2019. The West Indies team has used the man in bowling with care. He bowled only three overs against Pakistan the other day but was clearly in a lot of discomforts after bowling his eighth against the Aussies.

The 31-year-old was picked for the World Cup after his phenomenal show for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League this year. Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh was not impressed with the Russell episode though. In a tweet, he asked why Russell was being allowed to leave the field after doing the bowling when he goes into the game with his chronic knee problem.

Russell had, in fact, limped off the ground in the match against Pakistan as well after taking two wickets for four runs in a fiery spell. But the former Australian batsman was clearly not happy with the treatment that was meted out to Russell whose knee injury is a well-known fact.

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