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Morgan: Shakib made replacing Russell easier for KKR


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Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Eoin Morgan lauded Shakib al Hasan after the side confirmed their ticket to the playoffs of IPL by beating Rajasthan Royals in their final league game.

KKR crushed the Royals by 86 runs on Thursday to take a firm grip on the fourth and final spot in the IPL playoffs. The win took KKR's net run rate up to +0.59 which happens to be the best in the league.

After such a win Morgan said Shakib filled the gap of Andre Russell perfectly in the team.

“Shakib coming in and performing the way he has in the last two games has made replacing Andre Russell easier. He has contributed massively,” said Morgan at the post-match presentation.

The skipper asserted that the batting and bowling department was up to the mark and KKR deserved to win their final league game.

“We are taking it day by day [with Russell], so he’s working incredibly hard. Fingers crossed. I am not too attached to things as to what will happen and what won’t happen. We have done everything tonight. We deserved to win,” he said.

Meanwhile, former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir said that if Russell is not fit to bowl then Shakib should continue in the team.

“No, if he doesn’t bowl, he doesn’t come in. What wrong has Shakib done? For me, if Russell is fit and he’s willing to do deliver in both the departments, batting and bowling, I’d pick him. But if he says that he can only bat and can’t bowl, then I’d probably go with Shakib because you need the sixth bowling option against a batting lineup like RCB,” Gambhir told ESPNcricinfo.