Andre Russell is experiencing a remarkable period in his cricketing career. Whatever the Caribbean does is turning into gold. In the 12th edition of the IPL, he was smashing sixes for fun. He smoked 52 sixes in 14 innings as he turned games single-handedly for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Thus, despite featuring in just two ODIs since the end of the 2015 World Cup, the hard-hitting all-rounder was recalled to the West Indies side for the 2019 World Cup. While everyone’s aware of his batting prowess, he sent a timely reminder of what he can do with the ball in Windies’ first game of this World Cup. Russell might’ve bowled just three overs but had a massive impact on the game.
He started the short ball carnage as he picked up two wickets to expose Pakistan’s vulnerability against the short ball. Russell’s three-over spell literally opened the floodgates as Pakistan was bowled out for a mere 105. Russell was getting the ball to fly through and was cranking up some serious pace. After the game, when the 31-year-old all-rounder was asked about his bowling speed, he replied, “I always bowl fast.”
We just want to be aggressive
It was only a match ago, a warm-up alright, West Indies had presented enough evidence of what their muscled and beefed batting order can do. And the venue of their opening encounter, Trent Bridge - one of the highest-scoring venues in the world cup country - was as perfect a venue as they would have liked to exhibit their skills, or fulfill what Shai Hope had said only a day ago - 'expect 500 from us'.
While they can score all the runs one-day cricket can imagine, the apprehension was always to be about how they were going to defend it. Jason Holder's answer was simple: attack and take wickets.
"Our style was just to be aggressive," Holder, the West Indies skipper, revealed after their easy win. "We just want to be aggressive with whoever we're playing against. It's just something that we need to do in order to pick up wickets. I think with the modern-day game, if you are not picking wickets up throughout the innings you're going to struggle to contain teams. So we just want to be aggressive even if we give up a few runs up front, trying to get wickets."