Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Following a bad run of low scores and ordinary bowling performances for Jamaica and the West Indies, all-rounder Andre Russell this past weekend wrapped up a pretty decent run in the Friends Life T20 Competition in England, culminating with a match-winning knock for his club on Sunday.
Russell slammed an unbeaten 42-ball 77 for Worcestershire as they registered a five-wicket win against Somerset. He also took one for 43, his ninth wicket in the competition.
Since he began playing in June, Russell has scored 240 runs at an average of 34.28 and hit 19 fours and 15 sixes, good news for his Caribbean Premier League team the Jamaica Tallawahs. The Tallawahs open their campaign on August 2 against the Guyana Amazon Warriors at the Guyana National Stadium.
"I am feeling good, I'm feeling comfortable. My head is in the right place, so I am just looking forward to the CPL and trying to make the best of it," he said yesterday, mere hours after he arrived in the island following his blistering knock on Sunday.
"I have been bowling well. It was a good experience. I ended the tournament on a high, 77 not out. It was a winning inning as well. It's been a while since I have scored those type of runs and played those crucial knocks. I just thank God for everything."
He attributes his return to form for taking a break from the game.
"Sometimes in cricket it's good to take a little break so you can spend some time with your family and do some fun things," he said. "Everything is working now so I am just waiting now on my opportunity patiently (to get back into the West Indies team)."
Russell last represented Jamaica in March before taking up his assignment with Worcestershire in June. In that time he learnt some valuable lessons.
"I think the break taught me a lot; how to motivate myself even when I am feeling down, it was a good experience. I just hope when I get back I'll keep doing well."
Now that he is back home, he says, his focus is to re-acclimatised to the Jamaican sunshine, the heat and, of course, representing the Tallawahs well.
"I think I will do well for the Tallawahs with the bat and the ball and in the field as well. I am just looking to motivate the guys. We have a good team and we know we can win the competition. We just have to go out there and get the job done."