There is no one in the IPL capable of hitting the ball harder than Andre Russell, according to his KKR teammate Rinku Singh.
The Kolkata batsman is looking forward to teaming up with the West Indies all-rounder once again at IPL 2020. Their season begins in the UAE against defending champions Mumbai on September 23.
Singh firmly believes Russell is the world’s best all-rounder after some stunning showings for the Knight Riders since he joined them in 2014.
The previous edition of the tournament saw him smash 510 runs and claim 11 wickets in the 14 matches he played.
“There is no one who can hit the ball better than him. He has a lot of life and strength in him,” Singh said in an interview on KKR's website.
“His sixes are massive and I just don't see any batsman as a competition to him. He is the best all-rounder in the world at this moment.”
Singh, 22, also said he and Russell became friends off the field despite his lack of English.
“I haven't really spoken much with him because I can't speak in English that well. But yeah, the first year we enjoyed a lot on his birthday in our room.
“We even partied and danced together. So, I guess we started bonding well afterwards.”
Pleased with his own development
Singh joined Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and credited his improvement since then to Abhishek Nayar at the KKR Academy.
That same year he finished as the leading group-stage run-scorer for Uttar Pradesh and eventually amassed 953 runs in 10 Ranji Trophy matches.
He said: “I didn't do well in the one-dayers (before Ranji Trophy) and I had spoken to Abhishek sir about it. He called me over and we trained a lot.
“I don't think I have ever batted so much in my life as much as I did there. For almost five hours every day I used to continue batting and my hands even bled at times.
“The perseverance paid off in the Ranji Trophy later that season.”
India and IPL Hopes
Singh hopes a positive IPL can push him closer towards his goal of playing for India one day.
He added: “I have set small goals. To start with, I want to do well in IPL.
“Then I want to play for India ‘A' and eventually for India. I definitely want to play for India in the next few years.”