With IPL 2021 set to resume in UAE, all the franchises will have their tasks cut out with so many overseas players expected to miss the remainder of the season. Notably, Cricket Australia and England Cricket Board are very unlikely to allow their players to participate in the tournament as they want to keep them fresh for T20 World Cup and Ashes thereafter.
With players from those two nations contributing to major chunk of various franchises, the management has been forced to act quickly in order to fill in the gaps ahead of the season which is expected to resume on September 19th. It seems like Royal Challengers Bangalore have become the first franchise to act in the ongoing situation.
Will RCB find a perfect replacement for Zampa?
RCB's leg-spinner Adam Zampa was one of the earliest players to have pulled out of IPL 2021 citing COVID-19 concerns. With Virat Kohli's side in a strong position to qualify for playoffs this season, they would not want to go into the second half of the season with any of their bases uncovered. The pitches in UAE are expected to assist the spinners and getting a replacement for Zampa on board would be quite crucial for them.
As it stands, the Bengaluru-based franchise have identified their ideal replacement player in the form of Sri Lanaka's all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga. RCB have reportedly approached BCCI to consider the 24-year-old as replacement of Adam Zampa for the second phase of IPL 2021. It was reported on Thursday that there are as many as 4 franchises interested in securing the services of Hasaranga but looks like RCB are leading the race.
Why is Hasaranga on radar of various franchises?
Sri Lanka's all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga has emerged as one of the most exciting T20 players in recent times. While Hasaranga can contribute with quick runs down the order, it is his spin bowling which makes him a lethal prospect on turning pitches. A glimpse of the same was on display during the T20I series against India when the leg-spinner showed his magic with the ball taking 7 wickets in 3 matches at an economy of 4.32.
If RCB can secure Hasaranga's signing, it could make them a lethal team with AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson and Wanindu Hasaranga as the four possible overseas options. To add to it, he would make up a deadly spin duo alongside Yuzvendra Chahal which would be a nightmare for batsmen on slow and sluggish UAE pitches.