Andre Russell blasted 35 off 14 balls with two fours and four sixes while he blasted 40 off 14 balls with six sixes as West Indies secured a 2-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Andre Russell was in great form during West Indies' recent two-match Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. Russell blasted 35 off 14 balls with two fours and four sixes while he blasted 40 off 14 balls with six sixes as West Indies secured a 2-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka to end their tour on a high after being blanked 3-0 in the ODIs. Dwayne Bravo, who was also in the side on the tour, has said Russell is a valuable asset in Twenty20 Internationals and in a recent interview, he has likened Russell's contribution and playing style as a mixture of Chris Gayle and Brian Lara.
Speaking to Trinidad-based radio station I955 FM, Bravo said, "He's the best in the world. t's the same I used to say of Chris Gayle when Chris Gayle was in his prime - we are happy to have him representing us, we didn't have to come up and bowl against him in an international match. It's the same with Andre Russell. Andre Russell now is our Chris Gayle, is our Brian Lara, in the T20 format. He is the superstar." Russell's exploits helped West Indies overcome a rough patch in the last year or so in the Twenty20 International format.
The two-time champions registered their first series win after a year with the 2-0 win against Sri Lanka. Prior to their win, they had drawn the series against Ireland 1-1 at home while they lost to India twice (3-0 and 2-1) while they suffered embarrassing defeats to England and Afghanistan.
Bravo said that Kieron Pollard, the current West Indies skipper and Phil Simmons were working very hard to set the goal of making the West Indies the "dominant" team in world cricket once again. Bravo highlighted that the team consisted of some of the best players in the T20I format and that they needed to get all hands on deck in order to save the sinking ship.
Dwayne Bravo came out of retirement in the series against Ireland for the West Indies. (Image credit: Getty Images)
"With the 3-0 loss in the ODI series, we T20 guys had a chat among ourselves along with the management and made a pledge that we want to start back winning series. We said we wanted to be back being the most dominant team in the T20 format. We have produced some of the best players in the world and when we are together in the same team, we have to stamp our authority, and to get the cricketing world to respect West Indies cricket again and especially West Indies' T20 team. We said, 'All hands on deck, let's start with this Sri Lanka series and make sure we send the message.' Yeah, that's what we did," Bravo said.
The all-rounder, who came out of retirement to play in the West Indies series against Ireland, said he had to overcome ego and be flexible in his approach.
"Putting all egos aside, I'm happy with that because at the end of the day, I accept the fact guys like Rovman Powell and Fabian Allen and Shimron Hetmyer, the talent and the ability they have to hit the ball, I'm just happy to be like that - father-figure, mentor, guide, to allow these young boys to go out there and showcase their talent to the world. All of us are on the same page, no egos in the dressing room, one common goal to just win cricket games and dominate," Bravo said.