With Kolkata Knight Riders failing to put up a challenging score in Thursday's IPL encounter against Delhi Capitals, questions have once again been raised whether star all-rounder Andre Russell should bat higher up the order. But head coach Brendon McCullum said the idea is to have Russell walk in around the 12th over mark.
"I had a conversation with Andre Russell at the start of the season, ideally with the right platform, beyond the 12th over, we thought that was the right platform for him to go in. But there are times he would have to come in slightly earlier. He couldn't have played with the same freedom because we fell in a hole. Ideally from 12 overs onwards, he can do the most amount of damage. He was good against Delhi tonight," McCullum said in the post-match virtual press conference.
While Russell did strike at a rate of 166.67 during his unbeaten knock of 45 off 27 balls, it wasn't one of his best knocks. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals opener Prithvi Shaw was on fire as he started with picking 25 runs from Shivam Mavi's first over itself – 24 off the bat and a wide.
McCullum said that he has immense respect for Shaw and believes that the duo of head coach Ricky Ponting and skipper Rishabh Pant have done well to ask him to go out and play an aggressive game.
"I have immense respect for Prithvi, because not too many guys in the world cricket play the game with that sort of approach and you have to give credit to Rishabh Pant, Ricky Ponting, and the management that they have asked a player to play like that and for Prithvi to buy into that. He is a real talent, he put us under immense pressure, Shivam Mavi has been good for us, but he just was not allowed to settle. It was a big blow for us, but we should have been able to come back.
"One big over should not have been the deciding factor, I felt after that over, we took a step back and that was really frustrating. We talk a lot about staying in the contest if it is not with us, you should not be shell-shocked with one over. We were tonight and that is going to ask some tough questions from us. Prithvi was outstanding and he deserves all the accolades," he said.