West Indies v India, 3rd ODI, Antigua June 12, 2011

My best innings - Russell

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Allrounder Andre Russell has said West Indies' failure to apply pressure when Harbhajan Singh came out to bat when India were 92 for 6, still needing 134 runs for victory, cost them the game.

"When Harbhajan came to the wicket, we didn't really apply much pressure," Russell said. "We allowed him to score freely. That's the thing we have to tighten up next time. We had to bowl at right areas against him early on to make him uncomfortable. We didn't do that today. All of these things we can take as a learning experience."

There were hardly any people in for the game in the morning and those who had come were stunned by the West Indian top-order collapse as they crumbled from 65 for 1 to 96 for 7. It was Russell, who with his violent, unbeaten 92 and some clean hitting, lifted West Indies out of the hole. He started his innings slowly, ensuring he settled in before he unfurled the bigger shots. One ball flew over the midwicket boundary and landed in the parking lot. A few others also cleared the boundary. He ultimately hit eight fours and five sixes in his 64-ball knock.

"I always go in with a positive frame of my mind, "Russell said. "I believe in myself and I know I can hit the ball. What matters the most to me is that I get a start. As long as I get a start; start sweating a bit and see the bowlers, I can bang them around later. It was important for me to do well and express myself against a top team like India. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands."

Russell said he wasn't nervous when he walked into bat with West Indies reeling at 96 for 7. "The experience of playing in the World Cup helped. In fact I ran in to the crease and had no nerves. It was somewhat a similar situation against England in the World Cup. We had lost early wickets then as well. I just focussed on getting a start. There were lots of overs left and I knew if I could stay there as long as possible I would score some runs."

An innings like this is bound to raise the expectations of the fans, who will demand from him to perform as an allrounder, but Russell said he primarily saw himself as a bowling allrounder. "I try to balance it as the best I can. Bowling is my first choice. I bowl first in the nets and then have a hit. I don't go to training and just bowl and not bat. I want to have that balance and enjoy the success."

Russell said that Saturday's knock was easily his best innings of his life. "I had 65-ball 108 against Ireland for Jamaica but this was my biggest innings as it came on a big stage. That 108 was amazing but I really enjoyed myself today. If only we had 30 more runs the result could have been different."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alexei on June 15, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    If Sammy wasnt captain Russell would surely take his place in the ODI side... Russell contributes more as a batsman than Sammy.. I dont hate Sammy, dont get me wrong.. I just wish he contributed more bcuz he is capable of more in ODIs as a batsman..but based on performances, Russell should be at no.8 with 9. Bishoo, 10. Rampaul, 11. Roach/Taylor ....that's one aggressive bowling line-up, Bravo/Pollard would be there to play Sammy role so a team like that should prove successful

  • reghuh on June 13, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    This current WI team is a shame to the old legacies of WI cricket like Malcomm Marshall,Curtly ambrose,Walsh,Kalicharan,Lara,Haynes,Hooper,Lloyd,Richards,Richardson,Garner........current team is not even good to beat my 10 year old younger brother's team in my houses backyard........ Its madness not to play Players like Gayle whatever be the misunderstanding.

  • jimbond on June 13, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    What does this innings signify? Oh yes, Sammy does not have the game to be in the side- not his fault that he is in the side, but it indicates mediocrity if Sammy is in the side when people like Russel, or Dwayne Bravo sit outside.

  • everfaithful77 on June 13, 2011, 0:21 GMT

    @Mayfield I absolutely agree with you. It is high time that the WICB stop FOOLING AROUND with Gayle, Bravo and Pollard. These guys have demonstrated clearly that West Indies Cricket comes second to IPL and other big 20/20 competitions around the world. SO JUST LET THEM GO. Why Pollard and Bravo were included in the ODI team vs India when there are so many great players waiting for a call-up is a BIG MYSTERY. Why were Dave BERNARD and Rihad EMRIT completely ignored ? Both of them are currently in great form and would not have disappointed West-Indies. Bravo and Pollard have not done anything recently in ODIs to justify their pick. THE WICB AND ITS PANEL of SELECTORS NEED TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER. Also the 3rd ODI WAS OUR GAME TO WIN after the heroics of RUSSEL. At 92 for 6 SAMMY should have TIGHTENED THE NOOSE around INDIA especially HARBAJAN. Instead he allowed the Indian batsmen to settle by being more and more DEFENSIVE. SAMMY MUST LEARN TO BUILD PRESSURE WHEN REQUIRED TO WIN.

  • Metman on June 12, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    @rdwights and b4u8me2 !People are not bashing Gayle because he went to the IPL,at least not me !Most people are after him for his comments against Sammy,the coach,the Board ,Management and the WI public.

  • Metman on June 12, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    Congrats Russell !Show the Pollard backers,(who obviously are still in the woodwork waiting like termites to come out when he scores some runs),how to bat !Shame was what caused Pollard to give the impression that he wasn't out.He was so shamed that he kept looking back all the time,couldn"t even face his team mates.The keeper knew he hit the ball,so why was he so shock ?He did the same in the last ODI,hesitating and looking shock when given out !Sometime ago in TnT ,Pollard stood his ground after playing forward and edging to slip in a match against Bdos.In Pollard's last 8 innings in ODIs against the test playing nations, he now has an av.of 5,what a SHAME!All the Ramdin backers were quietly in front their TVs,hoping and praying that Baugh fails,but congrats to yu too Carlton !

  • rdwights on June 12, 2011, 18:33 GMT

    i really wonder why the Gayle bashing. He was not picked for the Pakistan tour. He only went to IPL after he was not picked. Why are we so hypocritical.. wouldnt we all have done the same. Further more pollard and Bravo chose IPL over the tour so why not lambast them. Futhermore what is wrong with Gayle indicating a prefermce for the shorter form of the game..isnt Malinga Warne, and the whole group of australians doing the same. I personally love test but if I was able to play I would also go for the shorter form of the game. Just give the man a break... When Gayle is playing for IPL he is obviously more relaxed with the batting behind him, a luxury he doesnot have while playing for the West Indies, hence in the ipl he can hit at will

  • b4u8me2 on June 12, 2011, 17:39 GMT

    How can people sit there and bash Gayle when Gayle wasnt the one who turned his back on WI cricket. He was dropped for no good reason and only then did he go off to the IPL. He did not choose IPL over WI cricket - he was dropped from the team and then he chose IPL. It is also hypocritical to be bashing Gayle when Bravo and Pollard are the ones who chose IPL over WI cricket after they were considered for teh series against Pakistan, yet nothing is being said of them. Presently Bravo is the vice captain and he opted not to play the test series against Pakistan and now he has asked for rest because he's tired from the IPL. But like so many others, including the WICB, it is easy to target Gayle - who by the way has a better record than Haynes and Greenidge at this point in his career. Go figure!! They say he is only a 20/20 specialist yet he has two triple centuries against top test playing nations. Go figure again!!!

  • NCassie on June 12, 2011, 17:06 GMT

    Rally rally round the Waste Indies, now and forever, Rally rally round the WI Board...these guys are brilliant! The best when it comes to treatment of players during injuries, tournaments, take a BOW Gibson, Haynes and company.

  • cricfan62084556 on June 12, 2011, 15:42 GMT

    In response to Sawbo88 posting. This is exactly why the WI cricket is in the state it is in. Players who are not commited to WI cricket no matter what they say to the media. ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. Gayle is all about making money, and there is nothing wrong about that. But don't make believe that you are commited to WI cricket when your actions say different. And don't forget Gayle's position on test cricket. He is not alone in this dept. Bravo asked to be rested. Why? Because he was tired from playing IPL. His cricket is deteriorating badly, both his batting and his bowling. One could argue, that this is from playing knockout cricket-IPL. You cannot develop as a cricketer playing IPL. Just look at Pollard. Test cricket and ODI require a lot of dirrerent skill than what is req. in the IPL. The only thing you need to do is SWIPE. Period. WI are wasting their time with Pollard, Gayle and Bravo. Let them go.

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