Player in Knott tradition

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The Independent Online
Of all the cricketers playing today no one communicates a greater sense of fun and enjoyment than Jack Russell. His infectious enthusiasm makes for irresistible watching, whether he is keeping wicket or batting, and makes for inevitable comparisons with Alan Knott.

In either capacity Russell is a busy cricketer. He does not fidget quite as much as Knott and his stretching exercises while keeping are not quite so exaggerated, but as a keeper he would undoubtedly have to doff his cap to Knott.

As a batsman though, his cheeky, wristy improvisations match anything that Knott ever managed. The comparisons are endless for both have the same slight figure and both have relished every opportunity to get into the game.

Besweatered and with his slightly ungainly stance Russell has played as well if not better than anyone in the team. One important aspect of his batting is the way in which he batted for his side.

Towards the end of play on the first day when Graham Thorpe became marooned for a while, Russell was quick to start pushing the ball around so that the scoreboard was kept moving and the pressure was taken off Thorpewho was able to wait for his touch to return rather than having to try and force it and risk getting himself out.

The same thing happened again when Chris Lewis came in on the second morning and was unable to find his touch. Russell kept the runs coming and this enabled Lewis to take his time - although, in his case, form continued to elude him.