Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has been the talk out the town lately all thanks to his brilliant show against India. The youngster put up one staggering performance after another as Sri Lanka, unexpectedly, defeated the Men in Blue 2-1 in the recently-concluded T20I series. Hasaranga, in fact, finished the series as the highest wicket-taker, having scalped seven wickets in three games. If that’s not enough, the dasher also contributed with his blitzes lower down the order.
Subsequently, he also received the Player-of-the-Series award. With Hasaranga proving his mettle against one of the best teams going around, the cricket world has been heaping praises on him. Many even believe that several Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises would want to bag his services for the second leg of the gala tournament.
For the unversed, the remaining games of IPL 2021 will take place in UAE in September-October. With the conditions in the Arab nation favouring spinners, Hasaranga can be a great addition to any team. Not to forget, many prominent foreign players are expected to miss the competition due to travel concerns. This is another reason why one can see Hasaranga making his IPL debut this year.
Meanwhile, let’s look at three teams that can target Hasaranga for the UAE leg
The Sanju Samson-led side blew hot and cold in the first half of the season, and the points table narrates the entire story. Rajasthan Royals were fifth in the team standings at the time of season suspension, having won three of their seven games. Many things didn’t go Royals’ way this year and the failure of spinners was one of them.
Leg-spinners Rahul Tewatia and Shreyas Gopal failed to take wickets in the middle overs, which allowed opposition teams to score freely. The duo was also taken to cleaners at times. Hence, the inaugural IPL champions might bag Hasaranga’s services to solve this problem. The Sri Lankan star has many variations in his armoury which has given many prominent batters a tough time.
Moreover, the dry tracks and big grounds of UAE are tailor-made for Hasaranga. Not to forget, the likes of Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes might not participate in the remaining competition. Hence, someone like Hasaranga will be an impeccable addition to the side.
Another team that didn’t enjoy a great campaign in the initial half of IPL 2021 is Punjab Kings. The KL Rahul-led side failed to identify their ideal combination and lost one game after another. At the time of season suspension, the Kings were sixth in the table with just three wins in eight games. While dashers like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, and Deepak Hooda scored runs consistently, the bowlers couldn’t live up to the expectations.
From Mohammed Shami to Jhye Richardson, every bowler was taken to cleaners. As a result, PBKS lost many games despite posting a formidable total on the board. In order to fill this void, the Mohali-base franchise can include Hasaranga in their line-up. The Sri Lankan star can ease Ravi Bishnoi’s job by delivering tight spells in the middle overs.
He can also trouble batters in the powerplay and death overs. Moreover, Hasaranga’s addition would strengthen Punjab’s already-daunting batting line-up even further. The franchise owners must be aware of these factors and they should plan to get the youngster in the mix.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Virat Kohli-led side might also go after the Sri Lankan cricketer with Yuzvendra Chahal enduring a tough time in the initial half of the season. Chahal, who has been a cornerstone of the side since 2014, was far away from his best earlier this year. He failed to pick up wickets and also leaked runs in several games.
Although his dismal show didn’t affect RCB much, the team management would be considering getting Chahal’s back-up. In that case, Hasaranga would be RCB’s first choice. The 24-year-old can compliment off-spinner Washington Sundar in the middle overs and his ability to bowl crunch overs makes him an even greater asset.
Some reports even suggest that RCB has already approached Hasaranga for the remaining season. Hence, one might see Kohli joining forces with the Sri Lankan star. Meanwhile, the Bangalore-based team was on a roll in the first half of the season. With five wins in seven games, RCB were third in the table when BCCI postponed the competition.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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