Sydney Thunder star Andre Russell ready to whip up a storm at SCG

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"I'm always happy to entertain people, so I'm ready to do whatever, whenever ... I'm 'Dre Russ', so I have to be ready at all times!"

Sydney Thunder's charismatic West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell was talking about his burgeoning music career, and not his approach to playing in the Big Bash League. However, fans are sweating on Dre Russ being on song in Saturday night's must-win match against the Sixers.

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Jake Lehmann never faced a ball in his past two Big Bash appearances. On Wednesday night he found himself needing to hit a boundary off the last ball.

The 27-year-old Jamaican has been identified by Thunder management as their priority signing when he comes off contract at the end of the season and Russell knows he must perform for the franchise at the SCG to help them force their way into their first finals campaign.

On the eve of his team's biggest game, Russell told Fairfax Media he had no intention of changing the swashbuckling approach that has made him the Thunder's answer to a super hero.

"It's just a love of the game," Russell said. "I think everyone who plays the game loves the game; doesn't matter whether I'm batting, bowling or fielding, I'm passionate about everything I do.

"I know this is not a lifetime thing. I want to make the most of the opportunity when I get the chance to show my skills. I know in the next, say 10 or 12 years I will stop playing cricket and I aim to leave everything on the field – all my energy – so I have no regrets when I retire from the game." 


He made it clear there was disappointment throughout the Thunder's ranks to be in a position where they are battling to scrape into the finals after they led the competition after opening BBL05 with three consecutive wins.

"It's a bit disappointing that we started well because where we are at at the moment, we have to win our last game [against the Sixers] and then hope for the other teams to have bad games," he said.

"It shouldn't be like that. We should have qualified comfortably already ... we were in comfortable positions to win games but we had things like two bad overs that allowed the opposition to get back on top. It goes to show whenever we are ahead we need to go for the kill."

Russell said he had learnt plenty about killer instinct when he was a sprinter for his high school and was pitted against faster runners.

"I used to sprint at school and I never loved to lose – I loved to win, I like to know what it feels like to be a winner," he said.