Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Pat Cummins will miss the remainder of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, despite a hefty contract with his franchise. This is indeed a major blow for the two-time IPL champions as Cummins spearheaded KKR’s bowling attack in this year’s tournament until the season got suspended due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Australian speedster took nine wickets in seven games and also scored a quick-fire fifty.
Unfortunately, KKR will not enjoy Cummins’ services in the latter half of IPL 2021 due to Australia’s busy cricket calendar. On Saturday, May 29th, BCCI decided to conduct the remaining tournament in the United Arab Emirates. Although the dates and schedule are yet to come, Cummins has jolted the Kolkata-based franchise by making himself unavailable. Hence, the Shah Rukh Khan-owned team must be looking for a potent replacement.
Notably, KKR were seventh in the team standings when the season got suspended abruptly. Having lost two of their first five games, Kolkata must win six of their remaining seven games to qualify for the playoffs without any hassle. Their challenge has been even more daunting now, with Cummins pulling out of IPL 2021. Nevertheless, there are some talented pacers whom KKR can target as the Australian pacer’s replacements.
Here are three fast bowlers who can replace Pat Cummins at KKR in IPL 2021
1. Varun Aaron
Varun Aaron is one of the fastest Indian bowlers going around and has a plethora of experience behind his back. He can set the speed gun on fire, and his ability to bowl vicious bouncers and yorkers makes him a potent weapon. Although inconsistency has been an issue for Aaron, he can be a force to reckon with on his day.
With the right-arm speedster being an Indian player, his inclusion in the line-up also allows KKR to play another foreign player. Hence, someone like Lockie Ferguson and Tim Seifert, who didn’t get chances in the first phase of the competition, can be included in the playing XI. Moreover, Aaron also has a fair amount of experience in IPL.
So far, he has played 50 matches in the lucrative T20 league, scalping 42 wickets. Although his economy rate of 8.89 is a tad high, the 31-year-old is far more experienced now and can be a noteworthy addition to the side. Last season, Aaron played for Rajasthan Royals but wasn’t picked in IPL 2021 auction.
2. Sheldon Cottrell
Caribbean pacer Sheldon Cottrell is another player whom KKR can target as Cummins’ replacement. The left-arm pacer has been a vital cog of West Indies’ white-ball team lately, and his record is also impressive. While Cottrell can generate swing with the new ball, the bucket of variations in his arsenal makes him an asset in the crunch overs.
Moreover, the Caribbean star is a left-arm fast bowler and will bring variety to KKR’s bowling attack. Not to forget, death bowling was an issue for KKR in the first half of IPL 2021 as the likes of Andre Russell and even Cummins were taken to cleaners in the end overs. However, Cottrell’s inclusion might ease that problem.
The fast bowler is also not alien to the drill of IPL. He played for Punjab Kings last season, taking six wickets in as many games. If the KKR owners are pleased by these factors, one can see Cottrell donning the purple and gold jersey in UAE.
3. Matt Henry
If the franchise owners are looking for a like-to-like replacement for Cummins, Matt Henry could be one of the first names popping up in their minds. The New Zealand fast bowler can swing the new ball both ways, and that too at a rapid pace. He also has some variations up his sleeves to trouble batters in death overs.
Owing to all these abilities, Henry is holding fourth place in ICC ODI rankings for bowlers. The 29-year-old has also played in IPL before. He represented Punjab Kings in 2018 but got dropped after playing just two matches. Nonetheless, he has done well in his recent assignments, and KKR could consider him.
One more aspect of Henry’s game that is worth mentioning is his batting. On multiple occasions, he has rescued New Zealand with his big-hitting lower down the order. Cummins has also done the same for KKR, and hence, one might see Henry assuming the Australian pacer’s role.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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