IPL 2020: How Trent Boult plans on stopping Andre Russell's barrage?
Kolkata Knight Riders' hard-hitting all-rounder Andre Russell was the star of IPL 2019, as he had lit up the tournament with his exquisite six-hitting abilities. He had also become the most sought player across fantasy leagues. He hails from Chris Gayle's birth-place, Jamaica.
Two-time champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), get set to play their opening game of the season against defending champions, Mumbai Indians (MI), on Tuesday. Meanwhile, all eyes would be upon KKR's lovely pinch-hitter, Andre Russell.
It was last season when Russell stole the limelight of the tournament, owing to his furious hitting abilities, as he changed the course of matches in no time, and often rescued his side from tough situations. Continuing his great form, especially since the just-concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL), he would like to take things even further this season.
Nonetheless, he would face strong competition from Trent Boult, who has said that he is ready to take on Russell's challenge. Also, since Russell mostly bats in the death, Boult is looking forward to it.
"It's the biggest challenge in the game, to be honest. It's very difficult to bowl in the last couple of overs when the batsmen are set; du Plessis was set the other night on 50 runs, and when guys are hitting from that platform, it's very hard to defend," said Boult, reports ESPNCricinfo.
"Personally, I want to try and stick to my strengths, try and execute yorkers and take the pace off [the ball], and just try and stay a step ahead of the batsmen. It's definitely the biggest challenge in T20 cricket,'" he added.
"He (Russell) is one of the most destructive batsmen in the game and therein lies the challenge. That's personally why I play the game, I like to take on the big players and look to take wickets, I'll be looking forward to that challenge and I am sure I'll face it at some stage in this tournament," he further noted.
Boult did find some swing during his first game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), as he claimed 1/15. However, he feels that as the tournament progresses, the pitches in the United Arab Emirates will deteriorate, thus helping the seamers.
"It's pretty hot here, the day games will be interesting with the heat and humidity, and how the wicket seems to quicken up little bit under lights. The wickets are going to change throughout the tournament, but from what we experienced the other night, in the humidity the ball definitely swung around a little bit, being early in the tournament and a fresh wicket," he continued.
"From my point of view, I just want to be on the mark with the ball and take wickets. I'd like to see them as swinging-friendly conditions with a bit of pace in the wicket, but the teams are assessing conditions and adjusting as quickly as possible," he concluded.