In the middle of a worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that led to the cancellation or postponement of many sporting events. IPL 2021 which is usually scheduled in April-May each year was also pushed to a later date of September 19, 2021 after the first phase was halted midway due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India. The marquee tournament was shifted out of India to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Players to watch out for in the second phase - Wanindu Hasaranga for RCB, Glen Philips for RR
While some players, understandably, have decided not to participate in the second round, a lot of new faces have introduced themselves on the basis of their domestic or international performances playing for various cricket-playing nations.
While some players have stepped back, some others have got injured before the second phase of the IPL which forced teams like RCB, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings and KKR to make some sudden replacements to their squads.
A few players will be debuting in the second phase of the IPL 2021 and have already started tweeting about their excitement. Akash Deep, a young and exciting prospect who has represented West Bengal in the Ranji Trophy, replaces the injured Washington Sundar and Wanindu Hasaranga from Sri Lanka replaces Adam Zampa in the RCB camp amongst others.
Glen Phillips, the wicketkeeper-batsman from New Zealand is all set to represent Rajasthan Royals (RR) as a replacement for Jos Buttler. The veteran leggie Adil Rashid has come in place of Jhye Richardson and will be seen under the wings of Punjab Kings.
A few familiar faces who have played IPL in the past are also making their return to this edition of the tournament owing to some injuries and availability conflicts. Pat Cummins who seeked personal reasons for not participating in the second phase apart from the prevailing pandemic situation has been replaced by New Zealand’s pace spearhead Tim Southee.
As per the latest development, it is known that English players Jonny Bairstow (SRH), Chris Woakes (DC) and Dawid Malan (PBKS) have pulled out of UAE leg of IPL 2021. Aiden Markram has been roped in as replacement for Dawid Malan for PBKS and SRH named West Indian Sherfane Rutherford as Jonny Bairstow's replacement. Delhi Capitals are yet to announce replacement of Chris Woakes for the UAE leg of IPL 2021.