I’m going to take them down tonight: Russell to Gill during RCB knock

KOLKATA: On April 5, 2019, Andre Russell played a 13-ball blinder to make a mockery of the 206-run target that Royal Challengers Bangalore had set for Kolkata Knight Riders in the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Russell said that he still gets goosebumps talking about the innings. “I knew that I would either get out, or I would get the runs (required) because we had a target like 60-odd runs needed off 24 balls or 27 balls,” Russell said in an interview published on www.kkr.in.

The Jamaican all-rounder came on in the 16th over when KKR were 139/4. Captain Dinesh Karthik as at the other end.

“DK looked at me and said ‘Big man, what are you thinking?’ and I told DK, ‘all I’m thinking about is boundaries’ So DK gets one boundary or two and then he gets out,” said Russell.

“He hit the ball, and he got caught (by Yuzvendra Chahal at midwicket). (RCB captain) Virat Kohli turned towards the stands where all the wives and KKR supporters were sitting, and he shouted something like ‘Come on!'”

Shubman Gill replaced Karthik. “When Shubman Gill walked out (at No.7), I said ‘hey listen, I’m gonna take down anybody that bowls. Anyone that comes on, I’m going to take them down tonight, so just try and give me as much strike as possible.’ He said, ‘anything you say big man’,” said Russell.

KKR needed 30 runs to win off the last two overs but Russell levelled things up in the 19th with three consecutive sixes, a four and a six again. Gill took a run off the first ball of the 20th over to take KKR over the line. Russell finished with 48 runs off just 13 balls, his innings punctuated by seven sixes and a four. He said that he wasn’t thinking too much during the innings.

“Every time I hit a six, I wasn’t even looking at the scoreboard, because sometimes you can get carried away with the crowd and everything.

“After I hit the ball, I would walk up to Shubman, we do a glove-punch, and I would go back to my crease and take as deep a breath as possible. That allows me to be calm.

“I don’t look at the field, I react to whatever ball is bowled, and I hit. If I find the gap, great. It’s a happy day. But most of the time, I’m looking to go over the fielders’ heads. Once the bowler bowls the ball, good or bad, I hit it high. That’s my mindset right throughout.”

Russell said that the win was one of his most special moments playing for KKR. “I’m getting goosebumps even now talking about it,” he said.

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