What’s the story?
The Delhi Daredevils have roped in former Australian speedster Ben Hilfenhaus as a replacement for middle-order batsman JP Duminy for the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League.
The 34-year-old, who has in the past played for the Chennai Super Kings for two seasons, will be the second Australian after Pat Cummins to join the Daredevils setup this year. The Tasmanian announced his retirement from first-class cricket last year.
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Prior to the start of the 10th edition, the South African left-hander had withdrawn from the League citing personal reasons and was soon joined by his fellow countrymen- Quinton de Kock-, thereby leaving a massive void in the batting arsenal of the franchise.
The misery worsened further Angelo Matthews was also ruled out of the competition, leaving them with no option but to bring in reinforcements.
The heart of the matter
Hilfenhaus had an impressive Big Bash League season for the Melbourne Stars, where he claimed 20 wickets at an average of 20.75 and in an overall T20 career, spanning 90 matches, he has picked up 114 wickets at an average of 21.24 and an economy rate of 7.45.
He was part of the team that finished runners-up to the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2012 edition of the League on home turf. In his IPL career, he has picked up 22 wickets in 17 matches at an economy rate of 7.72.
Now that Hilfenhaus has been picked by the Daredevils, the next aim would be to slot in the playing XI. At the moment, Chris Morris seems like the confirmed foreigner for them in their side and perhaps one could Sam Billings as well.
One way to bring him into the equation would by rotating him with Cummins, who has been injury-prone in the past. Will they do that? Only time will tell.
The selection of Hilfenhaus is strange, considering it is the batting and not the bowling which is the major concern for the side. Having lost three overseas professionals, it might have been better off for the Zaheer Khan led side to maybe go for an Alex Hales as a replacement for Duminy.