Much to the delight of the cricket fans, the much-awaited 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) is all set to get underway from September 19. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the tournament was delayed and has now been moved out of the country. With the final scheduled to take place on November 10, the matches will be played across three venues namely Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
The two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders are being considered as one of the favourites to lift the IPL trophy this year owing to their balanced batting and bowling line-up. However, the team has been hit with some bad luck as their left-arm medium pacer Harry Gurney has pulled out of the 2020 edition of India’s T20 league due to a shoulder injury. The Nottinghamshire paceman is expected to undergo surgery in the month of September.
Gurney had made his debut in the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders and had featured in the team’s squad last year. The left-arm seamer had represented KKR in IPL 2019 in eight matches taking 7 scalps while maintaining an economy of 8.81. He had also won a Man of the Match award for his winning spell of 2 for 25 in four overs against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur.
Nonetheless, there is a saying, “One’s loss is another’s gain”. On that note, let’s take a look at the list of 5 potential players who can effectively replace Harry Gurney in KKR’s squad for IPL 2020.
1. Evin Lewis
West Indies power-hitter Evin Lewis can be a good option for KKR as he is known for giving some solid and powerful starts to the West Indies cricket team and the other teams he has played for. In T20 cricket, Lewis has an average in excess of 32 and has a strike-rate of 155.4. He even has two tons and six half-centuries to his name.
The opening batsman has fared well on the grounds of UAE especially against the spinners. The experience of being aware with the pitch of UAE will act as a bonus for Lewis. He has also represented Punjabi Legends and Karnataka Tuskers in the 2018 and 2019 editions of the Abu Dhabi T10 league respectively.
For the last couple of seasons, Evin Lewis was a part of the Mumbai Indians (MI) squad. He played 16 games across two seasons and fared slightly below par. The aggressive left-handed opener averaged 26.88 while amassing 430 runs and had a strike-rate of 131.1 in the IPL.
2. Colin Munro
Despite being one of the best T20 batsmen in the world, Colin Munro had gone unsold in IPL auction 2020. Munro is one of the only three players in the history of international T20 cricket to have hit three or more centuries. The New Zealand opener is an impact player at the top and is a big six-hitter as well.
However, Munro hasn’t been at his best in the IPL. He’s been a part of the IPL for three seasons (2016, 2018 and 2019) across two teams (Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals). But he has featured in only 13 IPL matches scoring 177 runs and averages a mere 14.75.
Munro had a good PSL 2020 for Islamabad United scoring at an average of 35.42 and strike-rate of 147.61. The batsman will be a good option for KKR as an opening batsman or a finisher. If selected, it will be like a homecoming for the New Zealand batsman as he had made his debut for the Indian Premier League in 2016 with Knight Riders.
3. Colin de Grandhomme
Colin de Grandhomme is one player who can chip in with both bat and ball and can be effective in the field as well. The New Zealander has been in good form lately. He is ranked at Number 4 or 5 in the New Zealand T20I side and can effectively emerge as a watch-winner.
The all-rounder had debuted for Kolkata Knight Riders in 2017 and had a below-average tournament. He had featured in 12 games for KKR before moving to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Though the batsman had fared well in 2018 edition under Virat Kohli he scored 131 runs at an average of 155.95, he had failed to replicate his performance in 2019 edition.
De Grandhomme has till now played 36 T20 matches scoring 487 runs and taking 11 wickets. All being said, the Kiwi cricketer can act as a good companion for KKR’s star all-rounder Andre Russell in UAE.
4. Mustafizur Rahman
The specialist left-arm fast-medium bowler Mustafizur Rahman had a rollicking start to his international career. He was also honoured as the “Emerging Player of the Tournament” in his debut IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016 edition. Mustafizur had justified his signing by taking 17 wickets in 16 matches in the tournament where he helped his team win the title.
However, in 2017, he played just one game due to injury and in 2018, he was bought by Mumbai Indians (MI). But he did have a disappointing season where he could pick just seven wickets in as many games. Last season, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) did not permit him to participate in the cash-rich league to not take chances for the World Cup which was scheduled just after the league.
In 41 T20 Internationals he played, the Bangladeshi cricketer has picked 58 scalps while maintaining an economy of 7.93 and averages 20.5. He will be the most suitable candidate for replacing Harry Gurney as both are left-arm medium pacers.
5. Riley Meredith
Riley Meredith is an exciting right-handed fast bowler from Australia who is yet to make his debut in the Indian Premier League. The cricketer has gone unsold in both the previous auctions of the cash-rich league he applied in (2019 and 2020).
Meredith is expected to feature in Australia’s playing XI against England for a three-match ODI and T20 series beginning from September 4. Having made his List A debut in 2017, the pacer has till now played 21 T20I matches taking 27 wickets while maintaining an economy of 8.82.
Riley can be a decent option for KKR’s bowling line-up with Pat Cummins spearheading the attack along with Lockie Ferguson, Andre Russell and Indian youngsters like Prasidh Krishna, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi and Sandeep Warrier.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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