Windies sweating over Russell’s fitness

The West Indies team will be hoping that all-rounder Andre Russell is fit for today’s encounter.

NOTTINGHAM, England, CMC – West Indies are sweating on the fitness of all-rounder Andre Russell but will have talisman Chris Gayle available for today’s key clash with Australia at Trent Bridge here.

Russell appeared to aggravate his troublesome knee and Gayle his back as they played key roles in West Indies’ opening win of the World Cup against Pakistan here last Friday.

Captain Jason Holder told media here yesterday that  while Gayle was fit, Russell would undergo a further assessment before a determination was made about his availability.

“I think the beauty with both of those guys is they’ve played enough cricket. We just tend to trust them, take their word and then make a final determination then,” Holder said.

“Chris was at practice for the last couple days, so Chris for me is all well and ready to go. Andre will be obviously assessed today, and we’re very, very hopeful that he’ll be fit tomorrow.”

Russell produced a hostile game-changing spell in the opening game, snatching two wickets for four runs from three overs of pace, to help reduce Pakistan to 105 all out in the 22nd over.

The left-handed Gayle then blasted six fours and three sixes in a 34-ball 50 as West Indies sped to their target to win by seven wickets. With five days since their last game, both players have been afforded every chance to recover and Holder remained upbeat about their participation.

“We’ve had a few days off … they have been recovering quite nicely,” he said.

“We expect both of them to hopefully be fit and ready to go tomorrow. We’ve still got some more time until the game tomorrow morning, so then we’ll make a final decision in the morning.”

Opener Evin Lewis and fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, both of who missed the opening game with niggles, are expected to be available for selection.

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