Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) head coach Brendon McCullum has admitted that having star player Andre Russell sidelined because of injury has offset the team’s balance.
The West Indies all-rounder sustained a hamstring injury on September 26, while saving a boundary at the deep during KKR’s match against Chennai Super Kings, and has not played in the side’s last three games against Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
KKR beat Delhi Capitals two days after the CSK match but lost to Punjab Kings by five wickets last Friday, before returning to their winnings ways when they secured a six-wicket win against SRH on Sunday to boost their playoffs hopes.
“In terms of the balance, when you take out a world-class all-rounder like Russell, it’s always difficult to balance your side,” McCullum acknowledged. “When you take an all-rounder out, you’re always going to get the delicate balance of going either bowling strong or batting strong.”
In addition to Russell, KKR are missing pacer Lockie Ferguson who suffered an injury in a previous encounter versus Delhi Capitals.
The KKR skipper Eoin Morgan has said both injured players are being monitored daily. On Sunday, after they restricted SRH to 115-8, KKR chased down the target in 19.4 overs to seal their sixth win of the season.
KKR’s next IPL encounter will be against Rajasthan Royals on Thursday in Sharjah.