Andre Russell, Kolkata Knight Riders, KKR, Jacques Kallis, IPL 2019, Indian Premier LEeague, Dre Russ
Andre Russell, on No. 4 in the list of the top run-getters this season, has tonked a staggering 25 sixes in six matches, the most by any player this season so far. @ BCCI

Few would argue that the toughest juggernaut to deal with in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2019) this year is from the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) camp – none other than the fiery Andre Russell. He may not be donning the Purple Cap, for now, but if there ever were a colour that depicts the most number of sixes, then the big Jamaican allrounder would probably have to make that his own.

Russell, on No. 4 in the list of the top run-getters this season, has tonked a staggering 25 sixes in six matches, the most by any player this season so far. Even his West Indian team-mate Chris Gayle is below him with 18.

So far, Russell has notched up scores of 49* (19) versus Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), 48 (17) against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), 62 (28) versus Delhi Capitals, 48* (13) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and 50* (44) versus Chennai Super Kings. The awe factor increases manifold when you consider under what circumstances he has made such match-winning contributions.

“The most remarkable aspect of Andre Russell’s tournament so far has been the consistency of his batting. It is hard enough to score runs on a regular basis but to do so in the style he bats is incredible,” KKR’s head coach Jacques Kallis wrote in his column for the Times of India on Friday. (ALSO READ: Andre Russell has a weakness against turning ball: Kuldeep Yadav)

“It is easy to think his approach to batting is ‘high risk’ and impulsive, but such a run of consistency would be impossible if he was just swinging at everything. He actually has a finely-tuned method and understands his game and technique superbly. Bowlers just need to work out where to bowl to him now because he can’t, actually, hit every ball for four or six — despite how it looks,” the former South Africa allrounder explains.

Two-time champions KKR have had a good road trip in the two weeks they have been away from home. Besides their previous match against CSK, which can be considered as an aberration, they won their matches to Rajasthan Royals and RCB and return home to host Delhi Capitals on Friday. (ALSO READ: What to expect from Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals?)

“All in all it was an excellent road trip with some hard fought and valuable victories in the two weeks we were away from home. We played some smart, thinking cricket and made a lot of good decisions at vital times. Of course, Russ was at the heart of the wins, but he’ll be the first person to tell you it’s a team game,” Kallis said.

“We didn’t do ourselves justice in the last game against Chennai but that can happen from time to time. It’s hard to be at your best at the end throughout the tournament, particularly at the end of a run of away matches. Perhaps some of us were distracted by thoughts of going home!” (ALSO READ: Kieron Pollard a chance for West Indies?)

Kallis revealed that the KKR squad will be on a break following their next two games at home which is why the boys “will be giving it their all with the prospect of ‘half-term’ holidays just around the corner.”

“If we can go into the short break with another couple of wins we’ll be well placed to push for a top two spot in the second half of the tournament. We have a few injuries in the squad but they are mainly just ‘niggles’ which can be managed. Nobody wants to have a game off at this stage and we have an outstanding support team which will do everything to keep the main men on the field,” he explained.