Over the years, the Indian Premier League has either produced stars or given players the opportunity to become one. And with the remaining half of the IPL set to take place in the UAE starting September 19, youngsters will be keen to hit the ground running once again.
With several players unavailable for the remainder of the IPL 2021 due to national commitments, Covid-19 protocols or T20 World Cup preparations, rest assured, their replacements would be sought by their respective franchises with time.
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag feels one of the players whom franchises will be keenly following is Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. The No.2 ranked T20I bowler in the world, Hasaranga bamboozled the Indian batsmen in the recently-concluded limited-overs series, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, including a match-winning 4/9 in the deciding T20I, which Sri Lanka won to clinch the series.
“He bowled brilliantly. And the two wickets he took in the middle – of Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad – broke India’s back. I think there was some news that Hasaranga is targeting a few IPL teams as a replacement player,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
“I mean he was hoping for something like that and he proved himself… it doesn’t get bigger than this. Those who would be thinking of picking him would be saying ‘we need to talk to him’ and get him as a replacement player. He delivered the right performance at the right time.”
Reports had emerged that with Adam Zampa set to miss RCB’s campaign – he had withdrawn from the IPL 2021 in the first-half of the tournament itself – the two-time IPL finalists are pondering over acquiring Hasaranga, although there is nothing concrete. Having said that, former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra believes Hasaranga surely has presented a case for himself and must certainly have attracted the attention of franchises who are seeking replacements for players.
“Only time will tell which franchise needs a replacement. But if there are discussions, and someone needs a spinner – he (Hasaranga) could be the guy. If a player plays for a year and a half, he is considered a senior player in T20Is. He is the No. 2 ranked T20I bowler, although I do not believe much in rankings,” Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
“Not too many Sri Lankan are playing the IPL and if you talk about the India vs Sri Lanka series, Hasaranga has shown a lot of positives. Even Shanaka sent Hasaranga ahead of himself in batting.”