The temperatures are rising slowly towards the cussing point in the ongoing rivalry week of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the second game of the blockbuster Sunday (April 28), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be playing hosts to the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Both the teams are coming into this game after witnessing contrasting results in their respective previous outings. It is still an unbelievable fact to digest that with most of the teams playing each other twice, however, this will be the first time when these two teams will be up against each other in this tournament.
Big things are at stake in this high voltage encounter, as a victory will take the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians on the top of the points table, while KKR will also desperately want to be back to winning ways in order to keep themselves alive in the tournament.
Every game is a new game
While speaking ahead of the crucial game, KKR in-form belligerent all-rounder Andre Russell revealed that every game is like a new beginning for both the teams as the past results are to be left behind. The rivalry between Mumbai and Kolkata have been very much thrilling and fascinating, however, the records don’t speak the same. In the 24 matches played between these two teams in the IPL, KKR have just been able to win 5 games, while MI have tasted victory on 18 occasions and one match ended without a result.
"Every game is a new game. You get a new surface, you get a new ball and everything is new. Mumbai is not going to start with the last result, we are not going to start with the last result. It's a chance for us to redeem ourselves and to make sure that whatever we do tomorrow, we give ourselves the best chance to get rid of that theory (of having any mental demons against MI),” said Andre Russell on the eve of the game against MI.
I am happy to do anything for my team
While speaking on his batting position, Russell noted that he has been in constant conversations with the team management about his batting order. He revealed that the KKR head coach Jacques Kallis has backed him to play the role of a floater rather than batting down the order.
"I've been having conversations with the coach (about my batting order). He has been backing me to go out whenever the team needs me. He's gonna have me as a floater rather than low. So tomorrow maybe you will see me bat a bit earlier or maybe coming at the lower order. But it all depends on what happens tomorrow. You can't predict the future,” Russell inferred.
He mentioned that if the team gets a good start against MI later in the day, he will bat at his usual position. However, Russell also stated that he is willing even to play 12 overs in case the team needs it. "If we get a good start, maybe I'll stay where I normally bat, will allow the runs to pile up. Then I can go in with 4-5 overs to go. I'm happy to do that. If my team needs me to be batting 12 overs tomorrow, I'm happy to bat 12. If they need me to bat 3 or 4 overs, that's my job," the big-hitting KKR all-rounder concluded.