IPL 2021 – Wanindu Hasaranga for RCB, Glen Philips for RR to play in IPL for first time
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who seeked personal reasons for not participating in the second phase apart from the prevailing pandemic situation has been replaced by New Zealand’s pace spearhead Tim Southee.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.
A full list of the players who have pulled out of the tournament and the new players joining various teams is provided below:
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IPL 2021 - The story so far
IPL 2021 came as a welcome gift to the fans around the world commencing at the originally scheduled date of April 9, 2021.
This edition began with a bang at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai which hosted the inaugural match between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). The match went down to the wire and RCB were victorious in the nailbiter, winning the match on the very last ball by two wickets.
The tone was set for an exciting tournament with the usual flair, huge hitting, some superhuman fielding and some outstanding performances from big names like AB De Villiers, Ravindra Jadeja, Sanju Samson, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan (highest run-getter until now) to name a few. Youngsters like Harshal Patel (the leading wicket-taker so far), Avesh Khan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Arshdeep Singh proved how much strength India has in its domestic circuit with some terrific match-winning performances.
Rajasthan Royals seems to have lost a few key players but have had some exciting additions to their camp but overall the second phase of IPL promises to be packed with more excitement, fun and some very high quality cricket for the viewer’s pleasure.
Delhi Capitals table-toppers in first phase
Delhi Capitals stood out as the top team winning six out of eight matches they have played until now. They are sitting pretty at the helm of the points table under a new captain in Rishabh Pant as their regular skipper Shreyas Iyer contracted an injury playing against England.
Chennai Super Kings (CSK), under the able captaincy of the maestro MS Dhoni, is second in the points table winning five out of seven matches. They are playing like the CSK who won the 2018 edition of the IPL after making a comeback.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) did not have a good tournament so far as they are sitting at the bottom of the table because of not getting their team combination right. Sunrisers had to force a captaincy change in the middle of the event because of their poor run. However, under some unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances due to the second wave of the pandemic hitting hard in most parts of India and the subcontinent, the tournament had to be put on hold until further notice.
No fans, no ball boys and balls being sanitised before getting back into the field of play, we have seen it all and have come a long way. Players, support staff, organizers and more than anyone else, the eager fans are ready for the resumption of the second-half of the much-awaited IPL to restart on September 19, 2021 with the same exuberance and excitement.
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