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Andre Russell – The Game Changer

Given the reputation he has in the T20 format where he has been a shining star for franchises around the world, some might find it hard to believe that Andre Russell made his debut for the West Indies as a Test cricketer. His all-round skills had excited no less than Sir Viv Richards, and Russell played against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2010.

It would be his only appearance in the format. Given that he got his first ODI cap during the 2011 World Cup, he soon came to be associated with a new breed of West Indian cricketers who picked and chose their international games in order to play in T20 competitions around the world.

Russell first arrived at the Indian T20 League in 2012 with Delhi, but it was only after his switch to the Kolkata team in 2014 that he started to carve out a special niche. He played little part in their title win that season, but apart from the 2017 campaign that he missed while serving a ban, he has since been central to Kolkata’s game plans.

It must have been disheartening for Russell that his two most memorable Indian T20 League campaigns, in 2015 and 2019, coincided with Kolkata narrowly missing out on a play-off spot. In 2015, he plundered 326 runs and took 14 wickets, while in 2019, his tallies were 510 runs and 11 wickets. His strike rate of 204.81 in 2019 is unmatched in the league’s history.

Though his international appearances haven’t been frequent, Russell is one of a select few to have 2 World T20 winners’ medals. In 2012, he was part of the team that defeated Sri Lanka to win the World T20 final. Later in 2016, he also six-hit India out of the tournament on their home turf in the semi-final, with West Indies defeating England in the final to lift the trophy for a second time.

Now past the age of 33, Russell continues to be an integral part of the Kolkata squad, grateful for the manner in which the franchise showed faith in him when he was at his lowest ebb and serving a ban. In 2021, he rediscovered his bowling form, taking 5-15 against Mumbai, the defending champions of the Indian T20 League. He was retained by the Kolkata team again this year for a fee of ₹12 crores.

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Andre Russell’s Personal Details

    • Name
    • :
    • Andre Dwayne Russell
    • Date of Birth
    • :
    • 29th April 1988
    • Birthplace
    • :
    • Kingston, Jamaica
    • Height
    • :
    • 6′1″
    • Playing Role
    • :
    • All-rounder
    • Batting Style
    • :
    • Right-handed batter
    • Major Teams Played For
    • :
    • West Indies, Delhi Team, Kolkata Team

Andre Russell Current Rankings

Andre Russell Career Summary

    • Format
    • M
    • Inn
    • Runs
    • HS
    • Avg
    • SR
    • 50
    • 4s
    • 6s
    • W
    • Bowling Average
    • Bowling SR
    • CT
    • Test
    • 1
    • 1
    • 2
    • 2 vs SL
    • 2.00
    • 22.22
    • 0
    • 0
    • 0
    • 1
    • 104
    • 138
    • 1
    • ODI
    • 56
    • 47
    • 1034
    • 92* vs IND
    • 27.21
    • 130.23
    • 4
    • 94
    • 57
    • 70
    • 31.84
    • 32.70
    • 11
    • T20I
    • 67
    • 70
    • 741
    • 51 vs AUS
    • 19.50
    • 156.00
    • 1
    • 42
    • 62
    • 39
    • 34.97
    • 22.85
    • 16

Andre Russell - Key Skills and Strengths

Russell is that rare player who can completely transform a game with the bat or ball in the space of a couple of overs. In his prime, before the injuries slowed him down, he was well capable of bowling at speeds in excess of 140 km/hr. With the bat, he could walk in anywhere between No. 4 and No. 9 and destroy attacks with his clean striking. His six-hitting reached another level in 2016 after Chris Gayle told him he was strong enough to play with heavier bats. He’s also been a lively fielder capable of astonishing feats of athleticism.

Andre Russell Awards and Achievements

Injuries and his decision to follow Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard in becoming a T20 freelancer have limited Russell to just 119 appearances for the West Indies over more than a decade. His Test career never took off and he hasn’t been able to peak for 50-over tournaments. But when the West Indies won the World T20 in both 2012 and 2016, Russell played valuable roles.

Here are some of Russel’s biggest records and achievements in international cricket:

  • Russell’s ODI strike rate of 130.22 is the highest in the format’s history.

  • Russell’s 92* against India at North Sound in 2011 is the highest score ever made by a No. 9 batter in ODIs.

  • Russell’s 20-ball 43 was instrumental in denying Virat Kohli-led India a place in the World T20 final in 2016.

  • Of those who have played at least 50 games, only Glenn Maxwell and Colin Munro have a higher T20I strike rate than Russell’s 156.33.

Andre Russell’s Indian T20 League Journey

Even as he was serving a one-year suspension for missing a drug test, the Kolkata team management called him and told him that they would retain his services, a decision that Russell says reduced him to tears. He has been with the franchise since 2014, winning the Indian T20 League trophy with the team the year he joined. Prior to that, he had two low-impact seasons with the Delhi team. He was retained by his old team Kolkata ahead of the mega auction for a fee of ₹12 crores.

Here are some of Russell’s biggest achievements in the Indian T20 League:

  • Russel is one of only three players – Shane Watson and Sunil Narine are the others – to have won the league’s Most Valuable Player award twice.

  • Russell’s strike rate of 178.57 is by far the highest in the league’s history.

  • He has the highest score (88*) that includes 75 percent or more runs scored with the help of sixes. His innings of 88* included 11 sixes.

  • On the list of top 15 six hitters in the Indian T20 League, Russell is the only one to have played less than 100 matches

    • Format
    • M
    • Runs
    • HS
    • Avg
    • SR
    • 100
    • 50
    • 4s
    • 6s
    • W
    • Avg
    • SR
    • CT
    • Indian T20 League
    • 84
    • 1700
    • 88* vs Chennai
    • 29.31
    • 178.57
    • 0
    • 9
    • 119
    • 143
    • 72
    • 26.40
    • 17.51
    • 25

Andre Russell: FAQs

Which sports team did Russell train with before the current Indian T20 League season?

The Kolkata team management arranged for him to team up with the National Football League’s most popular franchise, the Dallas Cowboys.

Who gave Russel the nickname Dre Russ?

Russell himself adopted that name when he started a recording career in 2014. His efforts included a single titled “Sweet Whine.”

Which cricketer does Russell credit for his big-hitting exploits in recent seasons?

Chris Gayle, his fellow Jamaican, who told Russell to start using heavier bats during the World T20 in 2016. His first victims were India, who were knocked out of the semi-final after Russell smashed 43 off just 20 balls.

Which franchise passed up the chance to sign Russell for just ₹60 lakhs at the 2014 Indian T20 League auction?

Mumbai, who refused to engage in a bidding war with Kolkata after the player had earlier been released by Delhi.

Is Russell married?

Yes, he married Jassym Lora, a Jamaican-American model, in 2016. They have one daughter named Aaliyah.

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