Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Andre Russell has revealed that the pin-point yorker he nailed against AB de Villiers’ on Monday was a planned move.
Russell produced an unplayable yorker to knock over the de Villiers for a golden duck. The seam-bowling all-rounder said he had been bowling hard-lengths prior to AB’s arrival at the crease and it was a calculated ploy to dish out a blockhole delivery at the start of the South African’s innings.
In a video uploaded on KKR’s Twitter account, Russell said:
“That yorker, I planned it. Because you know, I was bowling hard lengths before into the wicket. AB came out to bat, I know he is a clever player. He was definitely looking for a hard-length ball. You know, I just trusted myself to get the yorker in and it worked. So, I’m happy.”
Russell had a perfect day with the ball in KKR’s opening game of the UAE leg against the Royal Challengers. The all-rounder registered figures of 3/9 in three overs which included the prized scalps of De Villiers and Glenn Maxwell.
“I went to AB after the match and give him a hug” – Andre Russell
Russell’s pinpoint yorker meant that ABD registered his first golden duck in the IPL since 2016. It was a complete contrast to Dre Russ’s fortunes from his previous tussle with the Proteas legend earlier in the season.
In the first encounter of the season between the two sides, Russell was taken to the cleaners by AB. The former South African captain smashed the seamer for 37 runs off 12 balls at the back end of the innings to set up a commanding win for RCB.
Six months later, the tables were turned and Russell was happy that he ended up on the right side of the ledger. He said:
“Well, I wasn’t checking that stat, but I’m happy it was tonight. The last encounter we had, he smashed me all over the ground. AB de Villiers is a top player, so getting him out first ball, you know, is definitely my night. I just want to keep going from strength to strength. After the game, he was looking at me like, you know, he knows that I got him. So I went to him and give him a hug and said, big man, I got you tonight (smiles).”
Thanks to brilliant bowling displays from Russell and Varun Chakravarthy (2/13 in 4 overs), KKR restricted RCB to just 92 to set up a much-needed 9-wicket win for the two-time champions.