Russell speaks about maroon debut

Colombo, Sri Lanka – West Indies fast bowler Andre Russell enjoyed his first day in the maroon West Indies shirt as he took four wickets in the ICC Cricket World Cup warm-up match against Kenya at the R Premadasa Stadium.

The 22-year-old Jamaican has been in the Windies side since November, but Saturday’s match was his first in the 50-over format and he totally enjoyed it. It started badly as his first ball was crashed over long-on for six, but he rebounded to take 4-43 from 10 overs as the Windies beat the Africans by 61 runs. The win was set-up by a brilliant century from Ramnaresh Sarwan, while Kemar Roach also backed up Russell with three wickets. 

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"I made my Test match debut when we toured here [Sri Lanka] last year and that was exciting. This was my first chance in the limited-overs format and overall I was pleased with the way things went. It is always good to get that first game out of the way and get settled," the Windies Number 12 explained.

"Overall I would say I was 80 percent satisfied with the way I performed out there. I am still learning and I still have things to work on before we start the World Cup. I thought I gave away a few four balls and that is something I have to polish up on. I am a confident performer and I always back myself to deliver when the team needs me. I have a few more days to get everything right and I will be working on that."

Two of Russell’s victims were bowled and one leg-before wicket as he bowled straight and got the ball to reverse swing in the late stage of the innings. He has been working closely with Head Coach Ottis Gibson on his variations and changes of pace.

"I got the ball to reverse and I also got some outswing. The pitch was a bit flat, so in the middle overs I tried a few of the things the coach has been talking to me about … the slower balls and the yorkers, and I got the results. We have also been working on my lengths and as we all know yorkers and dot balls are crucial to a fast bowler’s arsenal," was his assessment.

West Indies will play a second official warm-up match against Sri Lanka under lights on Tuesday at the R Premadasa Stadium.

The Windies will open their World Cup campaign against South Africa (February 24, Delhi) then followed by contests against The Netherlands (February 28, Delhi), Bangladesh (March 4, Dhaka), Ireland (March 11, Mohali), England (March 17, Chennai), and India (March 20, Chennai).