Andre Russell injury update: The West Indies all-rounder from Kolkata Knight Riders has missed four matches in a row now.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan has hailed opening batters Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer for providing them with impact-generating starts time and again in the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League.
Gill, whose 352 runs this season have come at an average and strike rate of 25.14 and 119.32 respectively, might not have done justice to his potential for a large part of the tournament but him scoring consecutive half-centuries when his team needed them the most speaks highly of his abilities.
Iyer, on the other hand, has impressed one and all in his debut IPL season scoring 239 runs at an average and strike rate of 39.83 and 129.18 respectively including a couple of half-centuries.
— Nitish Rana (@NitishRana_27) October 7, 2021
“I don’t think it could have got better. Losing the toss and batting was difficult. The start we got was fantastic. [Shubman] Gill and [Venkatesh] Iyer have been our shining light. To get 170 we thought was in a commanding position. A really strong performance today,” Morgan told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony after all but qualifying for IPL 2021 playoffs.
Andre Russell injury update
Morgan, who continues to struggle for runs personally, admitted that the presence of additional bowling options in Iyer and Nitish Rana has worked in their favour this season. The Englishman also lauded all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for picking a crucial wicket each in the two matches that he has played in the UAE leg.
“It certainly worked out that way. I think Shakib Al Hasan coming in and performing the way he has in the last two games, that’s made replacing Andre Russell a little bit easier. He’s a very difficult player to be able to replace. You miss out on a genuine batter and a genuine bowler. With Shakib coming in, he’s been terrific and contributed massively,” Morgan said.
The fact that Knight Riders are highly likely to finish in the Top Four despite playing without injured all-rounder Andre Russell for four matches in a row further hints at all-round contributions from their players. Being asked about an update on Russell’s fitness, Morgan pointed out the West Indian player’s tendency of “healing quickly”.
“We’re taking it day by day. We know that he heals quite quickly. He’s proved that last year. Had a two and a half inch hamstring tear last year and came back after two weeks. He’s working incredibly hard. Hoping that we get through. So, fingers crossed,” Morgan mentioned.
Barring a miracle in the last double-header of this season tonight, Knight Riders should be facing Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator match on October 11 in Sharjah.