Kolkata almost confirmed a place in the playoffs by defeating Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021. (Pic Credit IPL 2021)
IPL 2021 is at its last stop. The league stage matches are almost over and now the wait is for the playoffs. The places of Delhi Capitals (DC), Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have already been confirmed, while the name of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as the fourth team is also almost certain. KKR, who returned to great form in the UAE, seem to be in good shape and form and while everything is going well for the team, just ahead of the playoffs another great news has come for the team and its fans. West Indies’ explosive all-rounder Andre Russell, who has been out of the field due to injury from the last few matches, is now almost fit and the team hopes that he will be available for selection in the event of a playoff match.
Kolkata had taken a step into the playoffs, defeating Rajasthan Royals by 86 runs in their last league match. Now the team has 14 points and due to better net run rate, it is almost certain to finish fourth in the playoffs. In this situation, the team will face the number three team in the Eliminator match on Monday, October 11 and in such a situation, the team has got positive signs regarding Russell’s fitness. Russell played his last match against Chennai Super Kings and since then has not played in 4 consecutive matches.
Russell expected to return in playoffs
After the victory over Rajasthan on Thursday, 7 October, the team’s chief mentor and former all-rounder David Hussey gave an update on Russell’s fitness. Former Australian cricketer said, “He had a fitness test on Wednesday and I think he will be back soon. He is working hard to play in the playoffs. His playing is important not only for us but also for the tournament. He is a world class player and entertains the audience to the fullest.”
Such has been Russell’s performance
Andre Russell has averaged both ball and bat for Kolkata this season. However, on a few occasions, his performance changed the course of the match, especially against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the UAE, when he took 3 wickets including AB de Villiers for just 9 runs and the Bangalore team. Could score only 92 runs. KKR easily won the match. Before that, Russell had also taken 5 wickets against Mumbai in the part played in India and gave the team victory. In this season, Russell has scored 183 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 152, which includes one half-century. At the same time, he has taken 11 wickets with the ball.
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