There’s been a lot of buzz around the 13th edition of the IPL over the last couple of months. Last month, the teams released their retained players list and then, it was the turn of the players to register for the IPL auction. The auction took place on the 19th of December in Kolkata and hundreds of players went under the hammer. However, only 62 players were picked from the auction, which included 33 Indian and 29 overseas players.
While it was a big pay-day for many players, there were quite a few big names that went unsold as well. At times, the IPL auction can be pretty harsh as well. Multiple big stars who are consistent performers at the international level are ignored.
However, all is not lost for them. Injuries are part and parcel of the game and they tend to rule out players from taking part in the league. Thus, teams call up the unsold players as injury replacements.
Hence, here are five cricketers who can come back and be a part of the 2020 season of the IPL as injury replacements:
1. Alex Hales
It is surprising that Alex Hales has played a mere six IPL games in his career so far. He has a career T20 strike-rate of 142.26 across 236 T20 games and is a gun batsman at the top of the order. Yet, he has failed to find a place in the IPL.
The only time he featured in the Indian T20 league was in the 2018 edition. The Nottinghamshire opener was a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad side that looked fill in the void for David Warner’s absence and was the Australian’s replacement. He was even a part of the Mumbai Indians team in 2015 but failed to play a game. For SRH, Hales played six games and scored 146 runs in the season.
However, after that he was never considered. But Hales has been in good form of late. He had a very good time in the T20 Blast where he scored 418 runs and was striking at 140.26. The England opener struggled in the Caribbean Premier League but looked in good touch in the Mzansi Super League. He has started the Big Bash with a good knock as well. Thus, he could be a good replacement player. He can attack and go after the bowling at the top of the order and be very effective.
2. Colin Munro
Here is a player who has three international T20 tons and yet did not find any takers in the IPL auction this time around. The New Zealand opener was a part of the Delhi set-up for a couple of years but he blew hot and cold and there was hardly any significant contribution. Hence, he was released and eventually went unsold this year.
Colin Munro has a fantastic T20I record. He averages nearly 31 but has a fine strike-rate of 160.04. Munro has the ability to take the game away from the opposition in no time. He can give his team solid and flying starts as well. He can chip in with a few useful overs with medium pace as well.
Moreover, he is an experienced campaigner. He’s played 240 T20s and features in quite a few T20 leagues around the world. Munro could be a decent addition and a good injury backup. He can play in the middle as well if required.
3. Ish Sodhi
Ish Sodhi often flies under the radar. He doesn’t hog as much limelight as some of the other leg-spinners around the world either. But he does his job really well and is one of the best leg-spinners going around in the world at the moment.
The New Zealand leg-spinner is an attacking leg-spinner who has the ability to pick wickets in the middle overs. He consistently picks wickets and was a part of the IPL for a couple of years. Sodhi flew in as an injury replacement for Zahir Khan and was a part of the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in 2018 and 2019.
He played eight games across two seasons and picked up nine wickets. The Kiwi leg-spinner had an economy of 6.70 and exhibited a lot of control. Hence, he can be a good addition to any side and is a wicket-taking bowler.
4. Evin Lewis
For the last two seasons, Evin Lewis was a big part of the Mumbai Indians (MI) setup. He played 13 games in the 2018 season and amassed 382 runs at a strike-rate of 138.41. He wasn’t really in his elements last season and with the emergence of Quinton de Kock, Lewis played just three games in 2019.
Thus, with a lot of firepower at the top, Lewis was released ahead of the auction. But it was surprising to see no team bid for the attacking West Indian opener. He has a good T20 record and can be a destructive player at the top of the order.
Moreover, Lewis has been in good form but he tends to go through patches of inconsistency which may have worked against him. However, with still three months to go for the IPL, he could be called up as injury cover.
5. Yusuf Pathan
Right from the first season of the IPL, Yusuf Pathan was a big part of whichever team he played for. He lit up the maiden IPL season as he scored 435 runs at a strike-rate of 179.01 and it went a long way in helping Rajasthan Royals (RR) lift the title. He had a couple of decent seasons thereafter before he joined the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2011.
The Baroda all-rounder played 106 games for KKR and by far, that has been his best franchise so far. He made 1893 runs at an average of 31.55 and a strike-rate of nearly 140. However, he had to part ways with the franchise in the mega auctions in 2018 and it was Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
But Pathan’s form has dipped. He had a decent 2018 season where he scored 260 runs at an average of 28.89 and was striking at 130. However, he mustered just 40 runs from eight innings in 2019, out of which he remained unbeaten in five of them.
The senior Pathan can be a useful addition in the middle-order and can allow an addition overseas bowler to be played in the XI. Thus, he could well be one of the replacements from the unsold list.
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