Plucky Russell eyes series sweep
WEST Indies' fastbowling all-rounder Andre Russell boldly declared his desire to complete a 5-0 'whitewash' over struggling New Zealand after the home team cantered to an easy nine-wicket win at Sabina Park in the first of five matches in the Digicel One-Day International (ODI) series yesterday.
Russell, who took the Man-of-the-Match award after snaring 4-45 off 10 overs, said the opportunity is there for the West Indies to put recent series losses behind and start to beat opponents emphatically.
"I'm looking at a whitewash at the moment," Russell calmly said during yesterday's post-match interview.
"It's (been) a while since we have won a series. This is the opportunity where we can finally make use of the resources that we have. We have a very good team; we are playing at home, so it's a right time for us," said the 24-year-old seamer.
He, however, cautioned against over-confidence.
"We have to take it game by game and we can't be complacent. They have guys in the team who can get the job done and they have a good team, so we are not going to take them lightly," he said.
The Jamaican, who was entrusted to share the new ball with pacer Ravi Rampaul in front of his home supporters, was on cue from his first over of the innings when he had opener Martin Guptill caught at slip with a full, swinging delivery.
Russell proceeded to wreck the Kiwis' top order with two more wickets as the visitors stumbled to 33-3.
Late in the game, the energetic Russell sent Kyle Mills back to the pavilion to help ensure that the West Indies would have a modest total to chase.
He conceded that the wicket of Guptill gave him the confidence to complete that incisive opening spell.
"Most definitely. To get the wicket of an important batsman and get the ball in the right areas was important for me," he said.
"I backed myself because I got the opportunity to bowl the new ball and I know I can move (swing) the new ball. It's exciting playing at Sabina Park... I knew how important it was to make use of the new ball."