KKR's chief mentor David Hussey has thrown his weight behind youngster Shubman Gill and has proclaimed that he will be one of the highest run-getters by the conclusion of this year's IPL. He also rued the fact KKR couldn't get a partnership going, but felt Russell batted at the right spot.
Shubman Gill has been going through a dry spell. After making 11 off 19 against the Royals, he has been under immense scrutiny. He and Nitish Rana had started off too slowly in the powerplay on a sluggish wicket and as a result, Kolkata merely managed 25 runs in the first six overs that proved detrimental to their innings as they could never recover from the early blow. Gill was literally struggling to put bat to ball and his technical glitches also got magnified with his foot movement getting questioned by Matthew Hayden.
However, David Hussey, chief mentor of the Kolkata Knight Riders, has batted for the young opener and stated that form is temporary but class is permanent. Hussey reckons that Gill has got a great work ethic and even claimed that he will end up as one of the best batsmen this season.
"One thing I do know is that he took the Test match arena by storm in Australia," Hussey said. "The way he works on his game in the nets, he's very specific. He's got a great work ethic and I reckon all I can say is probably form will come and go, but class is always permanent. He is one class individual off the field but also an exceptionally talented player on the field. Mark my works he'll be one of the highest-scoring individuals by the end of the tournament. He's an absolute class act," Hussey said in the press conference.
Andre Russell, after smashing a quickfire fifty against the Super Kings, failed to turn up in the encounter against the Royals. There were many experts who felt that the big-hitter should have batted higher than 7, given his red-hot form. But Hussey reasoned that he's best suited to bat with just a few overs remaining.
"Really, we just needed to get a partnership going at that stage when Andre was ready to come in next. Dre is probably at his scintillating best when he has maybe three or four overs to go and he can hit 30 or 40 runs off about 15 balls and yeah, in a perfect world, he can go at No. 3 and make 200 I guess, but wasn't tonight. Yeah, maybe look at all strategies when it comes to the batting going forward with the Kings to play in a couple of days' time, and yeah, everything's on the table."
Kolkata pacer Pat Cummins has struggled to come to terms with the conditions at the Wankhede and is no longer as threatening as he was on sticky Chepauk wickets. When asked whether the Knight Riders are thinking of unleashing Lockie Ferguson with Cummins to add firepower to their bowling, Hussey stated that Lockie is very much in the scheme of things.
"Lockie is a class act and an excellent bowler for New Zealand. He particularly played well for Kolkata last year. He's handy in the death, but he'll also push the selection over the remaining games. Think everyone is on the table in terms of selection and we've got some tough decisions to make. We've going to start winning some games and I think everything will be discussed."