Josh Hazlewood has been one of the best bowlers of this generation. He was purchased by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2020 Auctions for his base price, i.e. two Crore. He played a few games for CSK last year but was still retained for the upcoming IPL season.
What comes as a major shock for CSK and their fans is that Hazlewood has pulled out of IPL 2021 at the eleventh hour. To keep himself fit for the international games, Josh Hazlewood pulled out his name on the day when the bunch of Australian players was slated to arrive in India to take part in the Indian cricket extravaganza. CSK now have to pick a replacement for Josh Hazlewood.
Instead of going for a like-to-like replacement, CSK might just go for a batsman as they lack a hard hitter. This just might be a blessing in disguise for CSK as they already have Lungi Ngidi and Sam Curran as their overseas seamers and need a batsman. Today we shall be taking a look at 3 in-form batsmen CSK can target in place of Josh Hazlewood.
1) Alex Hales
Alex Hales was one of the best T20I players when he used to play for England. He has played 60 T20I games and scored a whopping 1644 runs at an average and strike rate of 31.02 and 136.66 respectively. It is very unfortunate that he isn’t playing for England currently.
Alex Hales has played 6 IPL matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018. In those 6 games, he scored 148 runs at an average and strike rate of 24.67 and 125.42 respectively. However, that was in 2018 and he has improved his batting as well as his game against spin in the last few years.
He has been in superb form in various T20 leagues such as BBL and PSL. Alex Hales might just be the player CSK are looking for. He could either open the innings or even bat at No. 3.
2) Devon Conway
Devon Conway has managed to impress one and all. Despite playing only 14 games for New Zealand, he has been hailed as the next big thing in New Zealand cricket. Many cricket pundits were shocked when he went unsold in the recently concluded IPL 2021 Auctions.
In his 11 T20I innings he has played, he has scored 6 fifties (two being 90+ scores) and has a batting average and strike rate of 59.12 and 151.12 respectively. Another important point to be noted is that he is a wicketkeeper, thus adding more positive points to his resume.
CSK has a golden opportunity to get Conway right now as a lot of teams would be targeting him as, when, and if their players get injured. Conway is ideal for CSK as he can bat at No.4 and be a backup gloveman. Besides, if he does manage to impress CSK’s management, he might be retained and could become CSK’s new regular keeper once MS Dhoni retires from IPL.
3) Martin Guptill
It is safe to say that Martin Guptill is one of the greatest T20I players of all time. His name would appear in almost all T20I records. He has scored 2939 T20I runs at an average and strike rate of 32.3 and 136.82 respectively.
He has played for various IPL teams such as Mumbai Indians, Punjab Kings (Then Kings XI Punjab), and Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the 13 IPL games he has played, he has scored 270 runs at an average of 22.5 and 137.76 respectively. His IPL record might not justify his talent but everyone knows that he could always replicate his international cricket performances in IPL as well.
CSK might just be tempted to go for Guptill as he is an experienced player. CSK’s mantra has been backing experience and thus, this might prompt the franchise to go for the Kiwi opener. Besides, Guptill could open the innings with Gaikwad and Faf could bat at 3 or 4.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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