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Russell serves up a reminder that he is a fast bowler first

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Russell serves up a reminder that he is a fast bowler first

Postby BallOil » Fri May 31, 2019 11:04 am

Russell serves up a reminder that he is a fast bowler first and foremost

Andre Russell is irked and inspired in equal measure when he is not recognised as a genuine fast bowler and the West Indies all-rounder took his frustration out on Pakistan’s batsmen at Trent Bridge on Friday.

The 31-year-old Jamaican’s performance epitomised his team’s overall strategy in their opening match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, delivering 16 straight short-pitched balls at one point as West Indies began their campaign with an easy seven-wicket victory.

“A lot of people have been saying I’m in the team as a big-hitting batter but they don’t remember I’m a fast bowler,” said Russell after finishing with figures of 2/4 from his three overs.

“I think they underestimate me.

“I’ve been jealous in the past couple of years because people have me down as a medium-pacer. When I see ‘Andre Russell’ come up on the big screen and I see ‘medium-pacer’, I’m like, ‘who are they talking to?’.

“Actually, I’m annoyed. Who’s responsible for that stuff should change medium-pacer to fast.

“At the end of the day I’ve showed them I can bowl 90mph. I think they should put some respect by my name. Today, when you turn up and see a (bouncy) pitch like that, it gives you a vibe to bowl fast, an energy to bowl fast.”

Russell said he was unfazed by the hostility he received from the large Pakistani contingent in the crowd for bowling too many bumpers.

“I don’t mind the crowd booing,” he said. “The short balls were our strategy and I’m just doing my job. I know if I bowl fuller and get hit back over my head, they will be cheering a four or a six. You can’t please the fans all of the time.

“It takes a lot of energy to bowl that way. When I came off the field one of my teammates asked how I was feeling after six short balls in one over. I said, ‘I feel tired’. But I know I only have three overs to bowl so once I leave everything on the park, I can cool down and come back for another three overs later.

“That’s my job, three-over bursts, two-over bursts for the captain, for the team. I’m just playing my part. I’m happy for the spell I bowled, getting two important wickets and setting the tone for Oshane Thomas to come on and do what he did and for Jason Holder to come back for his second spell.”

The equally hostile Thomas was named Player of the Match after picking up 4/27 while skipper and fellow fast bowler Holder claimed 3/42.

Russell was forced to go off for the latter stages of Pakistan’s innings as he was again troubled by an ongoing knee problem.

“I’ve been struggling with my knee for the last couple of months,” he said. “When they were nine wickets down, I just ran off to get a bit of treatment.

“I’m not worried. I’ve got five days until our next game against Australia so I’m definitely going to do some work on it. I’ll be fully fit by then.” (ICC)
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