Andre Russell is a dream T20 player. He can walk into any T20 side in the world, be it as a pure batsman or even a pure bowler. The West Indian all-rounder can bat anywhere in the line-up or even bowl at any stage of the game and still have the same impact. No total is beyond him neither is any game lost until he’s at the crease. Russell has proven that on multiple occasions. He is an absolute game-changer and there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
Russell has scored 5365 runs at an average of 26.95 in T20 cricket. He has taken 291 wickets as well. But it’s not about the runs or the wickets or the average for him. It’s the impact, it’s the way he bats, it’s the strike-rate he bats at. Hence, it’s no surprise that he is one of the most sought-after players in franchise T20 cricket all over the world.
It’s Russell’s 32nd birthday today (29th April) and birthdays are a good time to reflect on some of the records, stats and achievements. Last year, on his birthday, Russell had an absolute blast as he smashed a 40-ball 80 (six fours and eight sixes), took a couple of catches and took 2/25 to single-handedly help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) end a six-match losing streak.
Unfortunately, this birthday, Russell cannot be out on the park with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing almost the entire world to be in lockdown. However, here we look back at 10 records and stats that prove Russell is an absolute beast in T20 cricket.
#1 Best strike-rate in the history of T20 cricket (minimum 1000 runs)
It’s been more than 17 years since T20 cricket started and only 17 players in the history of T20 who have scored more than 1000 runs have a career strike-rate in excess of 150. Only four have them have a strike-rate of more than 160 and only one in the 170+ category, that is Russell. He has a strike-rate of 171.29 after 321 T20 games which is a staggering stat. The next best in this list is Colin de Grandhomme who has a strike-rate of 161.23. Even if you consider 500 runs, Russell is third on the list behind Devdutt Padikkal (580 runs at a strike-rate of 175.76) and Ed Pollock (663 runs at a strike-rate of 174.93).
#2 Best SR in history of IPL
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has seen 12 seasons. But there is no player in the history of the IPL who comes even close to Russell’s career IPL strike-rate. He has a jaw-dropping strike-rate of 186.41 in his IPL career and the second-best is Ben Cutting who has a strike-rate of 168.79 in the IPL and even he’s played just 21 games. Sunil Narine, Moeen Ali, Rashid Khan, Rishabh Pant and Glenn Maxwell follow.
#3 Fastest to 1000 runs and 50 wickets double in IPL
As many as seven players have a double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets in the IPL. However, it is Andre Russell who took the least number of games to reach the landmark. The all-rounder from the Caribbean took just 57 games to scale the double beating the joint-record of Kieron Pollard and Shane Watson. Overall, Russell’s numbers in the IPL read – 1400 runs (strike-rate of 186.42) and 55 wickets (strike-rate of 18.89).
#4 Only the second player to score a ton and take a hat-trick in the same game
In one of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) games in 2018, Russell scaled a new peak with both bat and ball and that too in the same game. He took a hat-trick and scored a ton in the same game. Playing for Jamaica Tallawahs, the all-rounder first took a hat-trick in the final over of Trinbago Knight Riders, scalping Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin. Chasing 224 in the same game, Russell walked out to bat at 41/5 and smashed a 40-ball ton, which is the fastest in the history of the CPL. He finished unbeaten on 121 and capped off a jaw-dropping game where he got his team back from the dead and won them the game. The feat of picking up a hat-trick and scoring a ton wasn’t seen for the first time in T20 cricket as Joe Denly had done it before and Russell become the second player to do so.
#5 Best balls per six and percentage of runs in sixes (minimum 500 runs)
It is no secret that Russell can clear any boundary in the world with ease. He is a beast when it comes to hitting sixes and is a six-hitting machine. Russell has hit 420 sixes which is more than the fours (348) he’s hit. He hits a six once every seven balls (7.27 to be precise) and a stunning 48.12% of his T20 runs have come through sixes (2520 runs out of 5237 runs). Even the Universe Boss who is arguably one of the greatest T20 batsmen to have ever played the game falls short of Russell’s numbers. He hits a six once every 9.24 balls and his percentage runs from sixes are 44.18%.
#6 First player to take four wickets in four balls in a T20 game
When you look at the headline, four wickets in four balls, you’d tend to remember Lasith Malinga and then Rashid Khan. However, it is an unknown fact that Russell has also picked up four wickets in as many balls in a T20 game. It didn’t come in an international or any T20 league. It came when he represented West Indies ‘A’ back in 2013. When he took four wickets (Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha, and Yusuf Pathan) in four balls against India ‘A’ in 2013, he became the first-ever bowler to do it in T20 cricket.
#7 Third-best Balls per Boundary and fifth-highest % of runs in boundaries (minimum 1000 runs)
Russell is a boundary hitter and has scored 3912 runs in boundaries. That’s 74.7% of the runs that have come in boundaries (fours and sixes in his career). However, the percentage is the fifth-highest behind Neil Carter, Hazratullah Zazai, George Munsey and Chris Gayle. In terms of having the best balls per boundary (four or six), Russell hits one every four balls (3.98 to be precise) and that is the third-best behind George Munsey and Ian Harvey.
#8 Only batsman to average 50+ and have a strike-rate of 200+ in a T20 tournament
Last year, in the IPL, it was almost improbable to get past Russell. He kept batting and kept smoking the ball out of the park. He had a stunning strike-rate of 204.81 in the 2019 season which is easily the best for any player who has faced 10 or more balls. But he even averaged 56.67 while amassing 510 runs. That was the first time in the history of T20 cricket that a player averaged 50+ and had a strike-rate of 200+ in a single season of a T20 tournament or league.
#9 Only player to have a strike-rate of 200+ thrice in a single season of a T20 tournament
Only four players in the history of T20 cricket have had a strike-rate of 200+ in a single season of a T20 tournament or league. Russell is one of them. But he is the only player to do it thrice. Apart from the 2019 IPL, he did in the 2014 CPL where Russell had a strike-rate of 200.92 while in the 2014-15 Ram Slam, he had a strike-rate of exactly 200.
#10 Only the second player to hit 50 sixes in a single IPL
Before 2019, in 11 seasons of the IPL, there was only one player who hit 50 or more sixes in a single IPL season. That is Christopher Henry Gayle. He did it in back to back seasons – 2012 (59 sixes) and 2013 (51 sixes). No one even came close. However, last season, Russell managed to break that barrier. He could go past the record of 59 sixes (most in a single season) but he smashed 52 sixes to go to the second place. He became just the second man to scale the 50 sixes record in a single season. Overall, the West Indian all-rounder has 120 sixes in the IPL and 14th on the all-time list of most sixes but he’s climbing that ladder very quickly.