The upcoming edition of IPL has seen injuries hamper the prospects of many sides. Several big names have chosen to prioritise their fitness, keeping in mind the Champions Trophy which kicks off 10 days after the IPL finals.
The absence of many stars, including the likes of Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock, R Ashwin and Murali Vijay, who anchor their respective teams, has brought down the excitement among fans in the lead up to the event.
Also read: IPL 2017: The Injured XI
Some of the biggest names in cricket were unlucky not to make the cut in the auctions this year, but have since been going through a purple patch. With many franchises having already replaced their injured players, the talent scouts of the remaining teams are going to have a hard time securing the services of players who have been putting in good performances.
Here are 11 players who can feature in an IPL ‘Replacements’ XI, and can be effective stand-ins for the injured players.
#1 Michael Klinger
The Australian first-class veteran was a member of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala in their only season. His performances in that season were modest and he ended up without a side after the Tuskers wound up.
However, he has been going through a Brad Hogg-esque late-career bloom, having made his T20 debut for the Baggy Green in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka. He ended up as the highest run-getter in the series, and his experience at the top order can help any side that manages to secure his services.
#2 Mohammad Shahzad
The burly Afghan wicketkeeper-batsman dismantled the Irish bowling attack in the matches held at the Greater Noida Sports Complex over the last month. He is the second player after Tillakaratne Dilshan to hit 200 fours in international T20Is among many other records he holds among associate nations.
Shahzad is currently ranked 7th among T20 batsman in the world in the ICC player rankings.
#3 Tamim Iqbal
The Bangladeshi stalwart has also been scoring heavily in the series against Sri Lanka. The former Pune Warriors India player recently became the first Bangladeshi batsman to score 10000 international runs.
His performances on Indian soil have also been good across the years, including his impressive run in the 2016 World T20 championship that was held in India, in which he ended up as the tournament’s highest run-getter.
#4 Rilee Rossouw
Rilee Rossouw was in fine form in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League, finishing the tournament as its 4th highest run getter. Rossouw was also among the players who recently quit playing for South Africa to sign a Kolpak deal, meaning he could be available for the entire duration of the IPL.
Incidentally, Rossouw was a replacement player in the PSL as well, coming in for injured Afghan player Mohammad Nabi (who was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the auction).
#5 Evin Lewis
Evin Lewis stamped his presence in the international stage with a 48 ball century against a full strength Indian team in a T20 match in Florida. The left-hander, who models himself on Chris Gayle, hit five sixes in an over by Stuart Binny in that match.
He has also been explosive in franchise tournaments across the world, including the 2013 Champions League T20 in India, where he was the fifth highest run-getter of the tournament.
#6 Marlon Samuels
The West Indian has been cleared to bowl recently making him a genuine all-round prospect. The experienced campaigner has plied his trade in T20 leagues across the world, including a stint with the Pune Warriors India.
He also has a penchant for playing long innings in crunch situations, with his Man of the Match performance in the 2016 World T20 finals at Eden Gardens still fresh in everybody’s minds.
#7 Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan will count himself unlucky to not make the cut in the 2017 auctions. The all-rounder was among the highest paid players in the inaugural auction, and went on to represent five different IPL teams across the seasons.
Pathan was in fine form in the Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy and also in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he led Baroda to the semi-finals. Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, who are facing captaincy conundrums, could end up considering this experienced campaigner.
#8 Dwaine Pretorius
Pretorius has been delivering match-winning performances for South Africa with both the bat and the ball over the last few months. The bowling all-rounder is also known for his big hitting, as was evidenced in the recently concluded series against New Zealand.
The Highveld Lions player, who has an economy rate of 4.7 in ODIs, might be willing to put in the extra mile in the IPL, in a bid to cement his place in the South African side
#9 Parvez Rasool
The Jammu and Kashmir captain had an impressive Ranji Trophy season with both the bat and the ball and continued his good form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The bowling all-rounder will fancy his chances of getting back into the Indian squad with both the frontline spinners, Ashwin and Jadeja nursing injuries.
Rasool also comes with the experience of representing three IPL teams over the years, and can utilise the tournament to get back into the Indian team after ordinary performances in the last T20 series against England in January.
#10 Nathan Lyon
Lyon was impressive in the recently concluded Test series against India, taking wickets at regular intervals to give Australia a fighting chance in each match. He was also instrumental in Sydney Sixers’ impressive run to the finals of the Big Bash, and is currently touted as the favourite to replace Ashwin in the Rising Pune Supergiant squad.
Lyon would also be looking at impressing the national selectors before the Champions Trophy, given that he is largely considered as a Test-only prospect, despite consistent performances in the Big Bash.
#11 Sean Abbott
Abbott attained worldwide infamy as the player who bowled the ball that ended Phil Hughes’ career. The pacer, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last season, was the highest wicket-taker in this year’s Big Bash by quite a margin, and has been in and out of the Australian T20 squad over the last year.
The right-arm fast bowler can also play effective cameos with the bat, as he showcased in this year’s Big Bash.