The 2021 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) is set to return in September in UAE and a lot of overseas players are likely to pull out of the tournament. With all the teams having a busy cricket schedule as they prepare for the upcoming T20 World Cup in October, the national boards would want to keep their players fit for the mega-event.
With Pat Cummins reportedly already ruled out, the participation of overseas stars like Shakib Al Hasan, Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell will also be under jeopardy. The teams will need to put on their thinking hats to find the perfect replacements for these players if required.
As the rule states that the franchises can opt for replacements only from the pool of unsold players in the auctions, let us have a look at a list of players who could be roped in by franchises for the remainder of the tournament:
1. Billy Stanlake
The tall Aussie fast-bowler has a unique ability to trouble the batsmen with the extra bounce he can generate with his high-arm action. Bill Stanlake also has experience playing in IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and has 7 wickets to his name in 6 games in 2017 and 2018. With a lot of teams expected to look for replacements in the pace department, the 26-year-old might prove to be a perfect fit with years of experience behind his back playing in the shortest format of the game.
Teams who could be interested in Stanlake:
Kolkata Knight Riders - As a replacement for Pat Cummins
Rajasthan Royals - As a replacement for Jofra Archer
Delhi Capitals - As a replacement for Chris Woakes
2. Glenn Philips
The Kiwi batsman is one of the most highly-rated cricketers in world cricket right now. Glenn Philips has amassed 506 runs for his country in 22 T20I innings at a dazzling strike rate of 149.7. His century against West Indies last year was a testimony to the immense talent that the 24-year-old possess. With a special ability to play big knocks in addition to some raw power while hitting the ball, Philips might prove to be a great addition to the teams looking for a game-changer in the middle-order.
Teams who could be interested in Philips:
Delhi Capitals - As a replacement for Steve Smith
Royal Challengers Bangalore - As a replacement for Glenn Maxwell
Kolkata Knight Riders - Eoin Morgan
3. Kusal Perera
The charismatic Sri Lankan opener is one of the most talented cricketers in world cricket right now. Kusal Perera has played 47 T20Is for his national side where he has scored 1293 runs at a strike rate of 135.2. The left-handed batsman has all the shots in the book and can take the game away from the opposition with his fearless approach while batting. Perera might prove to be an X-Factor inclusion in the franchises looking for an explosive batsman at the top.
Teams who could be interested in Perera:
Rajasthan Royals - As a replacement for Jos Buttler
Punjab Kings - As a replacement for Chris Gayle/Dawid Malan
Sunrisers Hyderabad - As a replacement for Jonny Bairstow
4. Sandeep Lamichhane
The mystery spinner from Nepal is quite famous in India, having played for Delhi Capitals in IPL before. Sandeep Lamichhane has 13 wickets to his name in 9 matches and has certainly proven his worth in the best T20 league in the world. Considering the unique wicket-taking ability he possesses and the fact that pitches in UAE will assist the spinners, the teams might be inclined to get the services of the 20-year-old to give a different dimension to their bowling attack.
Teams who could be interested in Lamichhane:
Sunrisers Hyderabad - As a replacement for Rashid Khan/Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Rajasthan Royals - As a replacement for Andrew Tye
Royal Challengers Bangalore - As a replacement for Adam Zampa
5. Isuru Udana
The Sri Lankan left-arm bowler also has the experience of playing in IPL before, having taken 8 wickets in 10 matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore. Isuru Udana is one of the T20 specialist bowlers and has a lot of variety in his bowling armoury. With not many left-arm bowlers available, the 33-year-old becomes a very attractive alternative for the franchises, who would want to cover all bases before heading into the second phase of IPL 2021.
Teams who could be interested in Udana:
Royal Challengers Bangalore - As a replacement for Daniel Sams
Rajasthan Royals - As a replacement for Mustafizur Rahman
Chennai Super Kings - As a replacement for Sam Curran