Kolkata: Saying Andre Russell and Avengers in one breath may sound a little more than odd but being tagged a 'superhero', like the protagonists of the cult Hollywood franchise, makes the cricketer "happy".
While the Avengers series has an unbelievable following across the world, the kind of strokes that the West Indian conveniently pulls off can often be hard to believe in the world of cricket.
He again played the central role, guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to a win over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here Sunday, smashing 80 odd runs in very few balls. "Yes, I am a fan of (Avengers), I am watching it for a while," he said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"If the fans say that I am a (super hero) I am happy." "Hand-eye co-ordination, a good bat speed and balance is important. I generate a lot of power from the shoulders and core. Everything works together.
"You need to make sure your body is fit and strong in order to play those upward shots in those moments," Russell said, speaking about qualities that make him a superhero in the cricket arena. Russell made 80 off 40 balls, hitting eight sixes and six fours at the iconic Eden Gardens, and no matter what the MI bowlers tried, they failed.
"When the bowler is trying to outsmart you with a wide or slower ball. That shot was a surprise for me as well (the one I hit over covers). We have given ourselves a chance." The win snapped a six-match losing streak for the three-time former champions in the ongoing edition.
"Hopefully the result in the next two games goes our way. One of my best T20 days, definitely. We needed to get 200-plus but getting 230 was just enough. If it was just over 200 we would have been on the losing end. "We kept our heads calm under pressure and executed our plans well. Yes, I was worried about the diamond earing."
Hardik Pandya outscored the man, who is his equivalent in the West Indies in terms of incredible hitting, but ended on the losing side despite striking 91 off 34 balls. "The situation demanded to go all out and I was lucky enough everything was coming out, except the ball I got out," Hardik said.
His nine sixes and six boundaries went in vain. "To be honest, with this kind of total you don't think much, just go out there and express yourself. I knew (Kieron) Pollard was there, I couldn't take time and I just wanted to enjoy the game.
"I am just holding my shape pretty well and the confidence makes a huge difference. I knew something different had to happen, but it was difficult for one guy to keep going."...