Kolkata Knight Riders were shot down in the Indian Premier League 2021 final by Chennai Super Kings and their star all-rounder Andre Russell was watching his team getting crumbled from the sidelines. He didn’t participate in the playoffs of the IPL 2021 and missed the final as well.
There were several fans left scratching their heads over the absence of Dre Russ in the summit clash. KKR head coach Brendon McCullum came out with an explanation behind Russell sitting on the bench during the all-important match.
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McCullum mentioned that Russell was suffering a hamstring issue and risking him in the final could have been costly.
“Andre obviously had a hamstring tear early on in the competition. He worked unbelievably hard to try and get himself available. He was still at risk there. And it was a risk, I felt in a final, we just couldn’t afford to take,” Brendon McCullum said in the post-match press conference.
KKR made an unbelievable dash towards the playoffs after a below-average performance in the Indian leg of the IPL 2021 where they won only two games out seven. They had an uphill task against them of winning a majority of their games in the UAE and make it to the top four.
KKR exploited the UAE conditions very well and a rejuvenated Sunil Narine partnered with Varun Chakaravarthy helped them to tie down other teams. They beat RCB and MI with 10 and 5 overs to spare respectively, which boosted their run rate. In the end, those big wins came handy as they pipped Mumbai Indians on the net run rate to book the fourth spot in the points table.
Their journey to the IPL final was exceptional and MS Dhoni, too, praised their efforts and labelled them the deserving winners. However, Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings humbled them in the final by 27 runs to claim their fourth IPL title.