IPL 2024: Russell mania hits Eden Gardens, Narine weaves mystery magic

Andre Russell at Eden Gardens

The iconic Eden Gardens stadium was graced by the presence of West Indies all-rounders Andre Russell and Sunil Narine as the duo joined the Kolkata Knight Riders’ training session on Saturday after reaching the city early in the day. KKR fans would be pinning their hopes on the most-experienced duo as they look to end their 10-year IPL trophy drought.

While most of the players would have complained of jet lag after a long flight, both Russell and Narine turned up for the training session and sweated it out ahead of their IPL 2024 opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on March 23 at Eden.

As soon as Russell and Narine stepped onto the field, they became the cynosure of all eyes present at the venue. After completing their warm-ups, Russell hit the nets straight away, took throwdowns and faced spinners for more than an hour in what was an intense batting session in humid conditions.

Russell with Rinku Singh

When Russell bats, people expect only one thing – plenty of big hits, and that was exactly what happened. Russell was in a ferocious mood as he kept hammering the throwdowns and spin deliveries all over the park. The sound from Russell’s bat echoed the stadium with head coach Chandrakant Pandit and mentor Gautam Gambhir keeping a close eye on the batsman’s posture while hitting.

Andre Russell with Gautam Gambhir

Yes, there were plenty of misses and mistimed shots as one would expect from someone who has had a long flight but it was Russell’s intensity and determination which stood out.

KKR’s highest wicket-taker of all-time, Narine, was also in his element as he rolled his arms over for a good amount of time, assessing the conditions.

Sunil Narine at Eden Gardens

Russell has had a few mediocre seasons for KKR and mostly struggled with his fitness. With aggregate scores of 117, 183, 335 and 227 respectively since the 2020 IPL, Russell has been a let-down with the bat, while his fitness issues have hampered his bowling abilities as well. However, with him being in contention for the T20 World Cup 2024, the Jamaican would be gunning to make a mark for KKR and head to the World Cup in a great run of form. Whereas Narine, even though economical, is not the same wicket-taker that he was in the past. KKR would be hopeful of their resurgence as they start afresh under mentor Gambhir.

Sunil Narine with Gautam Gambhir

Meanwhile, RevSportz has learnt that there have been no specific instructions from the KKR team management regarding the pitch at Eden Gardens with sources at the CAB stating that the track will have bounce and carry as has been the case in recent past at the venue, at least for the game against SRH on March 23. Also, KKR will play a practice match here on Sunday.


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