Andre Russell has been hitting a six every five balls in IPL 2019. The Kolkata Knight Riders' six-hitting machine has scored 257 runs at a staggering strike rate of 212.39 this season.
The first half of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 has been all about Andre Russell. The Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder has made sure fans are glued to the television sets whenever he walks on to the middle.
Sixes. A lot has been said about Andre Russell's big sixes. Every pre-match discussion involving Kolkata Knight Riders revolves around the big West Indian as he has been single-handedly demolishing the opposition attacks.
Teams have spoken about their plans to Andre Russell. Bowlers, especially spinners have been seen as the only way to stop the six-hitting machine. However, nothing has worked for opposition teams so far.
KKR are at the second spot of the points table with four wins from six matches and Russell has starred in four of those matches. Even in the two defeats Dinesh Karthik's men have faced, Russell had done his job to perfection.
No of sixes: 25; Strike rate: 212.39
Russell has been striking at a stunning rate of 212.39. More importantly, he has been hitting a six every five balls in IPL 2019. Russell has amassed 257 runs from just 121 balls and 150 runs have come from sixes.
Take a look at his scores from this year: 49 not out (vs SRH), 48 (vs KXIP), 62 (vs DC), 48 not out (vs RCB), did not bat vs RR, 50 not out (vs CSK). Russell has been able to contribute consistency for KKR this season.
Russell has left oppositions speechless, on-air experts clueless with his six-hitting skills. All of them have learnt one thing: No target is safe when the big West Indian batsman steps out to help KKR complete a chase.
Andre Russell specials in IPL 2019: 19-ball 49 vs SRH, 7 sixes vs RCB
Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore learnt it the hard way.
KKR had needed 64 from 27 balls when Russell walked out to bat for the first time in IPL 2019 in their opening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Russell finished with 49 from 19 balls and KKR crossed the finish line with two balls to spare. Russell demolished the SRH death bowlers, hitting four sixes and as many boundaries during his cameo.
KKR were yet again in a spot of bother during their 206-run chase against Virat Kohli-led RCB at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium as they needed 53 from 18 balls. And then Russell went berserk, hitting seven sixes during his knock of 48 from just 13 balls.
'Russell showed a lot of maturity in Chennai'
On Tuesday in Chennai, Russell showed he is not all about power hitting. The KKR all-rounder took his time on a sluggish wicket against the top quality spin bowling attack of Chennai Super Kings. He made 50 from 44 balls, hitting three sixes and five boundaries after most of the KKR batsman struggled to put bat to ball.
KKR lost the match by seven wickets but that did not stop captain Dinesh Karthik from raving about Russell's matured knock.
"Credit to Russell, he showed a lot of maturity and I am pleased with the way he's shaping up," Karthik said in Chennai.
With Kolkata Knight Riders returning home after being on the road for close to a week, expect more fireworks from Russell. No doubt, Eden Gardens will be packed to the rafters as KKR are playing three home matches on the trot between April 12 and 19.