Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) have finally found a replacement for Andre Russell in the form of Colin De Grandhomme for this year’s Indian Premier League(IPL). A New Zealand all-rounder was named on Tuesday to replace KKR’s one of the best players. He has been an important player for the team since he joined in 2014.
West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been banned by the independent doping panel for one year from all forms of cricket on January 31 for violating his whereabouts clause.
Colin De Grandhomme is a medium- pace bowler and a hard-hitting all-rounder. He made his international debut on 11 February 2012 for New Zealand in a Twenty20 International against his former country, Zimbabwe. His ODI debut came against South Africa in March 2012.
In November 2016, he was named in New Zealand’s Test squad for their series against Pakistan and debuted in the first Test match on 17 November and got a five-wicket haul in his maiden innings of Test match cricket. He also won the man of the match award in his first test match and became fourth New Zealand player to do so with the figures of 6/41.
De Grandhomme can be a pretty handy customer, especially in their home games as the Eden Gardens pitch has a history of assisting the lanky medium pacers as we have seen in the form of Rajat Bhatia who had great success when playing for KKR in the earlier seasons.
But even after the replacement, the Knight Riders would really feel Russell’s absence as he has been an integral member of their side now for a lot of seasons.
“We are not on the back foot,” Yusuf Pathan said. “Russell was an important cog in our wheel not only on-field, but in the dressing room also. He is a great character to have. There are situations when players miss out. He will be missed in the dressing room. But we have to look ahead and work with what we have.”
But captain Gautam Gambhir is looking at it from a different point of view as he feels that this a great opportunity for someone else to step up and take the responsibility.
“Either we can see Russell’s absence as a challenge or look at it as an opportunity in bold letters,” Gambhir said.
Kolkata Knight Riders will start their IPL 2017 campaign against Gujarat Lions on April 7.