Russell needs freedom to express himself: Uthappa
New Delhi, March 29 - Andre Russell plays an integral part in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) set up and batsman Robin Uthappa made no bones about the fact that Russell firing helps the cause of the team.
Speaking to the media on the eve of KKR's Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Delhi Capitals, Uthappa said the Caribbean all-rounder enjoys his role in the team.
"Russell plays an important role. We understand the impact he has for the team to go from 180 to 200. It is important for him to have freedom. He looks at himself as a senior statesman in the team. He understands the role.
"If he fails, it is about balance. If it wasn't a no ball and Russell had gotten out (in the last game), I would have played an attacking role. But with him around, you have to be sensible about what the team needs. Russell will have a few bad days, it is bound to happen. We need to take that in our stride and deliver," he explained.
Uthappa had himself played a quality knock in the game against Kings XI Punjab, but it was all about the Russell show and the batsman doesn't mind serving the team.
"It is sometimes a double-edged sword. Sometimes you can play a knock like I played the last day and it can fly under the radar, but it was important for the team. It's important to hold that position. I love serving the team," he said.
This will be KKR's first away game and the batsman said it is important to start well as they have four away games on the trot.
"First away game... This is important as we need to start well. Winning is important in away games. DC have always been a tough opponent in Delhi. It doesn't look like a regular wicket. If it is a good wicket, we will get runs.
"The importance of away wins is huge. We have four away games, so starting well is important. We need to create that momentum away from home," he said.
While there have been a lot of talks about the wickets being prepared for the IPL, Uthappa said the T20 format is meant for the batsmen.
"It is not conducive for the viewership. But you want it to be evenly balanced. Slow wickets are fine, but rank turners are not conducive for T20 games. It is a batsman's game and viewers want to watch that," he said.
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