Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will aim for their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title when they lock horns against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday, October 15 in the summit clash. Ahead of the match, KKR coach David Hussey gave a positive update on the fitness of Andre Russell, who has been out of action due to a hamstring injury he picked up in the league game against CSK.
Hussey revealed that Russell is doing well and was even bowling ahead of Qualifier 2. Russell is a big impact player and adds a lot of depth in batting and bowling, and if he is fit, KKR management will be keen to get him in the team. However, for Russell to feature, one of the four overseas players has to be left out.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels if Russell is fit, Eoin Morgan might drop himself to get Russell into the team. Morgan has had a quiet tournament so far and has looked completely off colour. Meanwhile, the other three overseas players – Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan has done reasonably well in the tournament.
Speaking to Cricbuzz, Vaughan said it will be a toss-up between Eoin Morgan and Shakib Al Hasan and if the conditions are favourable for spin bowling, Morgan might drop himself. Vaughan added that Morgan is a team man and will do whatever is best for the team.
“They have to make a call on the pitch because when they played at Sharjah, they got used to the pitch, knew the conditions, and stuck with the team. Dubai might be a different proposition, it might be a different surface. If Andre Russell can bowl four overs, they may turn to change Shakib, ” said Vaughan.
“You know, they may think that a left-arm spinner (won’t be required). Again, we’ll talk about Eoin Morgan (chuckles). I personally wouldn’t drop him, but do not be surprised if he drops himself) because I just know the character that he is. He will do what he feels is best for the team.”
Morgan is having a dismal run in the IPL and has scored just 37 runs in nine games of the UAE leg. However, Vaughan feels he is a kind of player that adds 25 runs value to the team with his smart tactics. Vaughan said he won’t dare to drop Morgan from the team but Morgan himself might drop out if he feels that it’s best for the team.
“I think he’s a massive player, and adds 25 runs of value with his tactics, maybe more with his man-management of those younger players that we talk about. So I would certainly play him, but don’t rule it out with Eoin Morgan because he’s that kind of personality.”