We've been gelling well as a team - Andre Russell
Jamaica Tallawahs all-rounder Andre Russell credits his team's success in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL) to the remarkably friendly atmosphere in the dressing room.
Speaking to Cricket World, Russell stated that the unity within the team has been strong despite having had a mixed time during the group stages of the tournament.
“We have a very positive camp,” said Russell.
“No one is worried about anything.
“We lost a few games before but it’s not just about winning or losing.”
Known for his aggressive approach with both bat and ball, Russell feels that the fearless mentality of the Jamaican team has helped the side overcome tough moments to finally qualify for the semi-finals of the CPL.
While maintaining the team unity as a major contributor of the success, Russell also pointed out the confidence of the players as another highlight.
“If you are going to down, you have to go down fighting.
“We have been gelling well together.
“We have been with each other throughout the tournament.
“The team is going well together.”
Reflecting on the 2015 CPL season, Russell opined that the tournament had been full of twists right till the very end of the group stages.
“It’s been a very interesting tournament.
“The last few games have been good and thrilling.”
Until the very last match of the league stage, it was quite hard to predict the teams for the semi-finals which reflected the competitive nature of the tournament.
While admitting that winning is priority for him and his side, Russell was quick to acknowledge the balance of the other CPL teams which has made this year’s tournament a hard fought one.
“Obviously you would want to win games.
“But at the same time, if all teams are closely packed to each other, it will give competitive cricket.
“This season is much better than last year as you couldn’t know till the very end as to who will be making it to the semi-finals.”
With four wins and five losses during their league stages, Russell confessed that Jamaica had been inconsistent in their performances.
However, the all-rounder is confident of his team’s chances as they gear up to lock horns with Trinidad in the first semi-final on Thursday.
“I think we played some hot and cold cricket.
“We could have done a lot better.
“I hope that we do well in the first semi-final.
“If we play to our potential, I think we should come out on top.”
The previous encounter between the two sides is fresh in Russell’s memory and he hopes that Jamaica have learned their lessons from that defeat.
“We lost against Trinidad last time and it was a close encounter.
“We need to ensure that we play well this time around.”
Apart from the obvious individual brilliance and team unity, Jamaica’s pillar of strength according to Russell has been the coaching staff.
Russell was all praise for the interactive skills of the coaching staff who he feels have made a huge difference to the team’s morale.
“We got a good supporting staff with us.
“Our owner is a very down-to-earth person.
“The coaches are making us feel comfortable and extracting the best out of us.”
Like all CPL players, Russell too believes that the tournament has been showing tremendous progress with each passing season.
The feisty all-rounder pointed out the quality of players particularly the foreign imports as a primary reason behind the increasing competitive nature of the tournament.
“I think the tournament has been improving.
“We are getting good players and the overseas players have been doing a great job.
“They are putting the local players under pressure which is good for the rookies.
“It makes a good difference to the quality of the cricket in the Caribbean. It makes the tournament more competitive.”
Compared to his high standards, Russell has had a very moderate CPL season so far with 133 runs and eight wickets from nine matches.
Andre Russell is playing for the Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League. The Biggest Party in Sport runs from 20th June to 26th July.
© Cricket World 2015