The IPL will be commencing from next week after an abrupt end in the first half. There were Covid-19 cases reported in the bio-bubbles because of which the tournament had to be indefinitely canceled. The BCCI, a few months ago, announced that the IPL’s remaining matches would be played in UAE from mid-September.
The fans, broadcasters, and franchises shall be happy with the renewed IPL second leg. However, it needs to be kept in mind that the T20 World Cup will be held exactly after the IPL in UAE and there is a chance that the players could be fatigued with the bio-bubble. The injury scare is also a possibility. In light of this, players such as Butler, Woakes, Bairstow, Cummins, etc. have pulled out of this leg of the tournament. Necessary replacements for them have been arranged by the teams.
We look at 5 replacements for existing IPL players who have the potential to light up the tournament.
1. Wanindu Hasaranga
Wanindu Hasaranga has the potential to be an excellent leg-spinning wicket-taking option having taken 7 wickets in the three matches he played with a miserly economy of 5.58 against India. He caused trouble to the Indian batting line-up in the recently concluded bilateral series. It was on the back of this performance that RCB picked him up as a replacement for Zampa. He will be a hot favorite. Hasaranga is not an ideal like-for-like replacement when looking for an all-rounder, however, he could be greatly effective on the spinner-friendly UAE pitches.
2. Evin Lewis
Jos Butler was the show stopper for Rajasthan and headlined their batting. At the top of the order, he gave them brisk starts at a great strike rate. His services would be dearly missed by them. However, his replacement, Evin Lewis, too needs no introduction. If he chooses to fire then Royals shall sail through without breaking a sweat. His ability to clear any ground in the world is well established. His performances against South Africa and Australia in the T20s were evidence of his growing importance in the circuit.
3. Tim Southee
KKR had the services of Patty Cummins but his performance in the first half of the IPL was lackluster. He has pulled out of this leg of IPL and has been replaced by the Kiwi legend, Southee. Southee’s experience and skill will help overcome the lack of assistance from the pitch. The slower balls and cutters will be used by Southee to good effect.
4. Glenn Phillips
The Royals have signed the Kiwi big-hitting wicketkeeper as a replacement. Off the T20Is to his name, the batter has scored 506 runs at an average of close to 150. He shall be able to provide the Royals with quick-fire starts. If given a chance at the top of the order, Phillips shall be able to deliver on the potential he possesses and justify why he is rated so highly in the Kiwi squad.
5. Aiden Markram
Punjab Kings shall be without the services of their star batter David Malan who holds the title of the world’s best batsman. He has been replaced by Markram. The South Africas is equally a competent batsman who would be playing his inaugural edition in the second phase of IPL 2021. The 26-year old has a fine T20 record. He has played 52 innings, amassed 1403 runs and returned with an average of 30.50.