IPL 2020: Before the IPL Player Auction in December, if there was one team that could play a game with a good XI then it was the Mumbai Indians. Their playing XI was almost ready with all the bases covered. The Mumbai Indians didn’t have much work to do in this year’s auction.
Still, they bought a few top-class players like Nathan Coulter Nile and Chris Lynn. MI even bought a few replacement players. But you can’t replace every player in the team and one of those players is Hardik Pandya. At the moment, India is finding it difficult to replace Hardik Pandya which shows the impact which he created for whichever team he played.
Pandya still isn’t completely fit and nobody knows when will he make a comeback. The IPL 2020 is just two months away and the MI fans will be hoping that he comes back for the IPL. But what if he fails to recover till the IPL? Are there any replacement options? Let’s have a look at three replacement options for Hardik Pandya.
- Rishi Dhawan
The 29-year-old seam bowling all-rounder has played for India in the past. In India, the skill set of a seam-bowling all-rounder is very rare and so whoever does a fairly good job at the domestic level is elevated to the international level. Dhawan played 3 ODIs and a single T20I for India.
Rishi Dhawan was an integral part of the IPL couple of years ago. He has played 21 games for three franchises in total which include KXIP, MI, and KKR. With Rishi Dhawan, you won’t get the power of Hardik Pandya but you might get a bit of consistency.
He is one of the very few Indian seam bowling all-rounders who went unsold in this year’s auction and hence could be a replacement option for Hardik Pandya for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2020.
- Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan isn’t a seam-bowling all-rounder and so wouldn’t be alike to like replacement for Hardik Pandya but he can do a job similar to want Pandya does for his team. Even though age is not on Pathan’s side, this year’s domestic season suggests that he still has some cricket left in him and surely at this level.
He can come in to bat at No. 6 or No.7 and start smashing from ball one and just like Pandya bowls a couple of overs, Pathan can do the same. Both are from the same state and so there seems to be a connection between them. At this age, Pathan might not be the fittest but he is good enough to be considered as a replacement option in IPL 2020 if Hardik Pandya fails to recover on time.
- Carlos Braithwaite
When there aren’t sufficient Indian replacements then the Mumbai Indians will have no other option but to turn to an overseas player. Carlos Braithwaite could be the perfect replacement for Hardik Pandya.
He comes down the order and can smash big sixes right from the word go and can offer his bit with the ball. He is becoming a better bowler and can bowl four overs on his good days.
We all saw the power of Braithwaite when he smashed a bowler like Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the World T20 final. The shortest format is Braithwaite’s forte and the Mumbai Indians would seriously think of this player if they want to seek Pandya’s replacement.