When it comes to the IPL, there are few who can hit the ball like Andre Russell. The West Indies all-rounder, who joined the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, had to wait a few seasons before becoming a household name. In 2015 and 2018, Russell had good outings for KKR, scoring more than 300 runs each season; However, it was in 2019 that Russell finally came into his elements, with 510 runs from 14 matches at an average of 56.66 and a striker strike-rate of 204.8.
Russell had scored four half-centuries in IPL 2019, but perhaps his most memorable innings of the season was an innings of 48 runs in just 13 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Batting first, RCB gave KKR a total of 206 runs, with Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers scoring half-centuries. With KKR batting, the equation came down to the need of 53 off 18 balls, which Russell got incredibly close. The then KKR captain Dinesh Karthik witnessed that monstrous innings of the West Indies.
In 2019, Andre Russell batted the best in his career, Karthik said in a video on ESPNcricinfo. He won some of the innings he played.
Karthik narrates the massacre as it is. Mohammed Siraj bowled three balls and bowled for a six with a no-ball, the fast bowler injured himself. Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis bowled three balls and hit six sixes. The next over is where Russell snatched the game from RCB, piling Tim Southee on 29 from 29 overs, including four sixes and a four.
He said, when a bowler started it, I was missing once again, and he got injured after a ball. Marcus came to Stoinis, my lord, the way he killed Stoinis and that’s where things started. And then they dismissed Saudi. These two overs. Karthik said, in a period of 10–11 balls, he hit six or five sixes, I am not sure, completely changed the game.
RCB were up and running all the way to 16 overs, which is around 36 overs of this game. They were killing it. But just that, in Andre Russell’s moves and the way he batted was just a complete treat to watch.