The uncertainty caused by the pandemic coupled with domestic and international commitments has seen some of the biggest names drop out in droves ahead of the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The 14th edition of the IPL resumes for a second time this weekend in the UAE, after a COVID enforced break in this season.
Meanwhile, IPL teams were quick to find replacements to bolster their squads. Their respective talent-hunt units scour across nations andleagues to recruit new talent at breakneck speed. While it is a challenge to incorporate raw talent into the team, here we take a look at some of the new recruits who could light-up the upcoming T20 extravaganza.
Tim David from Singapore – Royal Challengers Bangalore: RCB’s new recruit is touted as one of the busiest men in world cricket. The all-rounder has played eight tournaments in six geographical locations in franchise cricket around the world. The 25-year-old is fresh from a successful Caribbean Premier League (CPL) campaign and the power hitter will look to continue his form in the IPL for RCB. David boasts a T20 strike rate of 154 in 61 games and has an average of 36, which should result in big hitting and consistent scores.
Liam Livingstone from England – Rajasthan Royals: The English all-rounder remains one of the most sought after T20 freelancers in world cricket. The 28-year-old, whohas played in the Big Bash League and the Pakistan Super League among others, will now take-up batting responsibilities for the Rajasthan Royals. Apart from his destructive batting coupled with his ability to demolish spin, Livingstone can bowl both leg and off-spin to left or right-handed batsmen as well.
Nathan Ellis from Australia – Punjab Kings: The Tasmanian seamer, after taking a hat-trick on his international debut for Australia, will be eyeing to make the most in the UAE. After years of hard work and an opportunity to train/play with Tasmania, Ellis has seen a rapid rise that landed him from club cricket to the world’s premier T20 tournament in just 24 months. With his pace and height advantage and accurate yorkers, cleverly disguised slower balls in his arsenal, the 26-year-old will be keen to make an impression at IPL.
Wanindu Hasaranga from Sri Lanka - Royal Challengers Bangalore: The reason behind why the leg spin bowling all-rounder went unsold in the IPL’s earlier auction remains a mystery. In the meantime, the Sri Lankan cricketer continued his evolution into a modern-day, shorter-format exponent. Hasaranga can open the bowling and also frustrate batsmen along the line-up with his angles, pace and skid variations. With a T20 economy rate of 6.39 and an average of 15, he is second to Tabraiz Shamsi in the ICC T20 bowlers’ rankings. The all-rounder recently took his three-wicket burst against India in July and was declared as the player of the series. That performance quickly grabbed attention and he was roped in by RCB after a tussle as a replacement for Australian leggie Adam Zampa.
Ben Dwarshuis from Australia - Delhi Capitals: The left-arm fast medium may have a tongue-twisting name but is most reputed for his accuracy and cleverness. His bowling is garnering admiration for his innate wicket-taking ability with yorkers and cutters which often leave the batsmen bamboozled on most occasions. Dwarshuis over the past three Big Bash League (BBL) seasons has taken more wickets in death overs and the Delhi-based franchise will be keen to utilise that skillset in the IPL.
George Garton from England – Royal Challengers Bangalore: He isanother English bowling all-rounder who consistently clocks above 90mph with a short run-up. Garton, after missing the Ashes 2017-18 campaign due to an injury, joined the T10 League where he emerged as the highest wicket-taker. He also plied his trade in the Hundred, where his form propelled the Southern Brave to the title by scalping 10 wickets. The left-arm speedster,along with the staple slow bouncers and yorkers, can also seam the ball back into the right-handed batsmen.
Glenn Philips from New Zealand – Rajasthan Royals: The Kiwi wicketkeeper-batsman is also an acrobatic slip-fielder and efficient off-spinner, making him a rare entity. The gloveman entertained everyone with boundary-hitting skills for the Barbados Royals in the recently concluded CPL 2021. Philips has a strike rate of 144 in T20 cricket and will be keen to set the IPL six-hitting chart on fire.