Sport

Questions over Russell's role as doom and gloom hover like the English weather

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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TAUNTON, England — It's been easy to question the competence and decision-making within the West Indies camp after the team slumped to a third defeat at the ICC World Cup.

The bowling has been found wanting on numerous occasions, the batting has suffered from high-cost lapses, and fielding shortcomings have been exposed.

Finding a balanced 11 that brings the best out of the batting and bowling units is a major talking point.

Fitness concerns have also come home to roast.

Should match-winning all-rounder Andre Russell, who is lame with injuries in both knees, be played as a batsman only?

Should the 31-year-old cricketer be limited to bowling only three or four overs?

Or should he have been left out of the squad all together?

Those questions — and much more — are up in the air as doom and gloom hovers over the team much like the English weather this past week.

Batsman Shai Hope, 25, hit a crisp — even if somewhat slow-cooked — 96 in the seven-wicket loss to Bangladesh on Monday. He said Russell's show of heart and commitment has been an inspiration.

“Just seeing the situation that he is in right now, and to see his fight and to see his determination every single time is a big motivator for me. And hopefully he can come out again,” Hope told journalists during a mixed -zone session after the game.

Assistant Coach Roddy Estwick, though noting Russell is yet to impact greatly with the bat, also applauded the effort.

“We all knew of his knee problems before he came into the tournament, and we felt he brought an X factor, not only in his bowling, but in his batting.

“He hasn't really fired with the bat, but he keeps trying, and that's one thing you can credit him for, that he's out there giving a 100 per cent for the team. He's bitterly disappointed right now but we have to bounce back,” Estwick said.

Jason Holder, the West Indies captain, said: “He gave his all. He gave his all. Yeah, I can't say much more about his effort. He gave his all.”— Sanjay Myers


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