After missing Ben Strokes and Jofra Archer ahead of their 2021 IPL season, the last thing Rajasthan Royals needed was to lose another overseas player. The latest name to be added on the list is England's Liam Livingstone. Notably, the right-handed batman has flown back home due to bubble fatigue accumulated over the past year. The same was confirmed by the IPL franchise who offered help to the English batsman in any way possible.
In this article, let's have a look at the top 5 players who can replace Livingstone in the Rajasthan Royals squad.
1. Aaron Finch
The Australian opener was not picked in this year’s IPL auction, yet his experience in the cash-rich league could prove to be vital for Rajasthan Royals and improve the form of their middle-order. Having played 87 IPL games, Finch has scored 2005 runs at an average of 25.70. Moreover, his presence at the top of the order could give Sanju Samson and Jos Butler more flexibility to blossom towards the end.
2. Glenn Phillips
The New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman is known for his aggressive intent towards the death overs. Knowing Liam Livingstone’s USP was his raw power, Phillips can be a handy player to fill the vacant spot as he has already scored 508 runs in just 22 innings in T20Is.
Not only that, Phillips also plays at a strike rate of 149.6 and has already scored a century for his nation in the shortest format. With he coming into the Rajasthan Royals’ side, players like Rahul Tewatia and Chris Morris would have some support as well.
3. Marnus Labuschagne
He has been Australia's most trusted batsman in ODIs and Tests. Although Marnus Labuschagne has never played a single T20 game in IPL or for the Australian national team, his strike rate being over 90 in ODIs speaks at length about his talent in the shorter format.
Labuschagne could replace Livingstone in the Rajasthan Royals batting line-up and could prove to play the same role for the side as that of Steve Smith coming second down.
4. Martin Guptil
The New Zealand opener has been hailed as 'ruthless’ in the T20 format. Knowing that he has the ability to give highly aggressive starts to his team, Rajasthan Royals could use Livingstone’s departure to their benefit.
Guptil has played 102 T20I matches for the Black Caps and has scored almost 3000 runs at an average of 32.30. In addition, Guptil has registered 2 centuries against his name in the shortest format as well and his strike rate goes above 150 when he plays 20 balls or more.
5. Alex Hales
One of England’s most destructive openers in the limited over format, Alex Hales could be Livingstone’s like-for-like replacement. Both of them possess same aggression batting at the top order. Hales not only has the power game but can be equally unorthodox and smart in batting.
Knowing Rajasthan Royals have the consistency issue flowing with them, Hales could prove to improve that aspect.