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Russell’s weakness against short delivery letting KKR down

Andre Russell’s poor run with the bat in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season invited criticism from fellow West Indian and batting legend Brian Lara, who felt Russell’s inability to cope with short deliveries is being exploited by opposition teams.

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder was dismissed for just 12 during the match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday night.

Russell, who has over 5,600 runs in his T20 career, has aggregated just 83 in eight matches and is averaging only 11.85 in the league this season.

On Friday night, Jasprit Bumrah also used a short delivery that he couldn’t duck under. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock took an easy catch to send him back.

MI skipper Rohit later said that he had planned to target Russell with Bumrah, who had also got him in the first duel of the season between the two teams.

“I believe a lot in match-ups, we have got success as a team (doing it) – understanding the match-ups is important but we need to be instinctive at times. Krunal and Rahul also bowled to Russell, I took a chance with the ball gripping and turning, but I knew Bumrah was the go-to guy against him,” Rohit said after the match.

Lara, who is a TV expert, said that Russell has been found out. “I think he has been found out. Wherever he goes around the world, they tend to bounce him out,” said Lara during the mid-match show.

Against Chennai Super Kings, in an earlier game, Russell was dismissed by Shardul Thakur’s short delivery with MS Dhoni taking the catch. In the match against Delhi Capitals, Rabada got him with a short and fast delivery.

In other games too, bowlers have looked to attack him with short-pitched deliveries, the pressure forcing him to back away and give catches to fielders.

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