“Andre Russell can bowl four overs at any time in innings”: Pat Cummins explains KKR punt on having a short bowler against MI

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacemaker Pat Cummins revealed that fielding an extra batsman allowed them to play aggressively while having full faith in Andre Russell’s bowling. KKR completed the double over the Mumbai Indians (MI), beating them by 52 runs at DY Patil Stadium on Monday.

KKR’s middle order was unable to capitalize on the foundation laid by Venkatesh Iyer (43 of 24) and Nitish Rana (43 of 26) as Jasprit Bumrah (5 of 10) restricted the Knight Riders to 165 of 9. While It might have seemed like an easy chase with part-timers willing to throw four overs, Cummins threw his full weight behind Russell. And the versatile star did not disappoint, taking out Tilak Varma and Ramandeep Singh. While Russell was brought on the attack in the fifth over, Venkatesh Iyer’s solo over was the tenth of the run.

“I think Russ in particular has bowled really well the last couple of games. He is a class player, very confident, he can throw four overs at any time in innings. Obviously with Venkatesh and also with Nitish Rana, who didn’t bowl tonight, [we] he can cover all four overs quite easily. I think the message sent to hitters was to just go out there and be free, try to be the winner of the game, take the game on. And maybe with the extra batsman, it provides a bit of freedom as well,” the Australian Test captain said in response to a sports consultation at the post-match press conference.

After 13 overs, KKR was 123 for 2 and on course for a grand total. But the Bumrah talisman wreaked havoc as just 42 runs came out of the last seven overs with seven wickets to boot.

However, he set an example for bowling at the Navi Mumbai lane, which had considerable bounce and carry. Cummins stated that the KKR bowlers took a cue from Bumrah’s sensational spell and focused on hitting the hard lengths.

“I thought I was a very good bowler. I think he showed us that the top of the stumps, the back of a length, was difficult to play at this wicket. Especially here at DY Patil, it’s a pretty big piece of land. Obviously, you can be sure that getting a six will be a pretty good shot. So yeah, the game plan was really simple for us: try to throw straight lines, back a length, and it worked,” he added.

KKR moved up to 7th place in the IPL 2022 points table. But with just five wins from 12 games, Shreyas Iyer’s boys will have to perform a miracle to make it to the playoffs. MI, on the other hand, are entrenched in last place with just two wins so far.

“I probably didn’t bowl as well as I would have liked” – Pat Cummins on early season blues

Pat Cummins was the KKR bowlers choice with impressive returns of 3 for 22 in 4 overs. [Credits: IPL]
Pat Cummins was the KKR bowlers choice with impressive returns of 3 for 22 in 4 overs. [Credits: IPL]

Pat Cummins seems to have finally found his place in this iteration of the IPL. After a delayed arrival due to international commitments, the fast Aussie was dry-cleaned on his first four outings. He started just four wickets and gave up more than 12 runs over the top, 12.25 to be precise.

He himself acknowledged his bumpy start to the campaign and praised the efforts of Tim Southee (12 wickets in 10 games) and Umesh Yadav (15 wickets in 10). Cummins (3 for 22) finally hit his straps with the ball at the expense of the opposition against whom he had smashed 56* from 15 balls in the first leg.

“I probably didn’t shoot as well as I would have liked in those first four games. Yes [I was] just a little out of place. And Tim has done a fantastic job. So yeah, good to try tonight. He was preparing me, training me, preparing me to be called if necessary. And Umesh’s injury presented an opportunity. Yeah I didn’t have to try anything hard [I was] I just try to be a little bit more in the money than I was in the first four games,” he explained.

KKR would like to carry this momentum forward when they take on the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Pune on Saturday. Rohit Sharma and Co. will be looking to salvage some pride in the ‘IPL El Clasico’ against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at Wankhede Stadium on Thursday.

catch the latest IPL Live Scoring and the updated IPL 2022 Points Table at Sportskeeda every day!

live poll

Q. Should KKR continue to field heavy hitter lineups in the remaining two games?

4 votes so far

Edited by Sai Krishna