5 Players Who Can Replace Parthiv Patel In RCB: As the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is approaching, the franchises have started to plan for the upcoming season. The mini-auction will reportedly take place by the end of February, next year. All the eight owners, chaffering in the auction, will be hoping to make their squad stronger from the available choices.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, who finished at the fourth position in the IPL, will be looking to bring an ideal replacement for the recently retired, Parthiv Patel. The 35-years old announced retirement from all forms of cricket a few days ago. Parthiv Patel, who was the part of RCB in the IPL 2020, didn’t get any game throughout the IPL.
Despite not playing a single game, Parthiv’s retirement has left a huge gap in the team. Hence, RCB will be looking for a quality wicketkeeper-batsman to fill the void created by Parthiv Patel. An Indian wicketkeeper-batsman would be a bonus for the Bangalore-based franchise, given the RCB already have Josh Phillipe and AB de Villiers as overseas wicketkeeper-batsmen.
Let’s have a look at the 5 options available for the Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Kusal Perera (SL):
The Sri Lankan batsman, Kusal Janith Perera, is one of the prime contenders for the wicketkeeper-batsman in the RCB squad for the upcoming season. Perera has been one of the most consistent performers for Sri Lanka at the international level. The southpaw is a proven asset in the T20 format, contributing heavily everywhere he plays.
In the recently concluded Lanka Premier League, the left-handed batsman scored 209 runs at a decent strike rate of 132.27 with the willow. He was the second-highest run-scorer for his franchise, Kandy Tuskers. His best knock came against Colombo Kings in the inaugural match of the league, where he hammered 87 runs off 52 balls with the help of 9 fours and 4 maximums.
Kusal Perera can use the powerplay very well by scoring quickly, something RCB openers failed to do in the IPL 2020. Aaron Finch (110.5) and Devdutt Padikkal (129.0) had poor strike rates in the IPL, which affected them throughout the tournament. Kusal’s inclusion will surely help RCB in getting a brisk start in the powerplay.
Srikar Bharat (IND):
Srikar Bharat, from Andhra Pradesh, is probably the best Indian option available for the wicketkeeper’s section. The right-handed batsman is mainly known for his Test exploits, though he can also be useful in the T20s. No team bid for Srikar Bharat in the auctions last year, which might not be the case this time.
In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Srikar Bharat amassed 158 runs in five innings at a decent strike rate of 138.59 with the bat. He was the second-highest run-scorer for his team, Andhra Pradesh in the tournament. The 27-years old also hit 11 sixes in the tournament – highest for his team.
Bharat has worked hard on his T20 game, especially focusing on increasing the scoring rate and hitting the boundaries. It was evident in the domestic T20 tournament as well, where he had an increased strike rate of 138.59- quite more than his career strike rate (100.65) in the T20s. He will be a great addition for RCB, if bought in.
Kedar Devdhar (IND):
Another exciting wicketkeeper-batsman, RCB can bank on, is Kedar Devdhar from Baroda. The right-handed batsman can be an excellent option as a backup in the RCB line-up, given there aren’t many Indian options available. The 31-years old has been a regular player for Baroda in the domestic circuit, and has also captained Baroda in many matches.
In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019-20, Devdhar scored 356 runs at a good average and strike rate of 39.55 and 133.33 respectively while playing for Baroda. Kedar hit three fifties in the tournament, joint-most for his team and also pummeled 11 maximums. The domestic veteran also hit the most number of fours (37) for his team.
Devdhar played his only IPL game in the fourth edition, in 2011 for Deccan Chargers. He didn’t get any bid in the auction last year. Given his improved game in the shortest format, Devdhar can be a decent pick in the IPL.
Matthew Wade (AUS):
The Australian batsman, Matthew Wade, is also one of the prime contenders for the wicketkeeper-batsman in the RCB squad. Wade is probably one of the most improved players in the recent times, especially in the T20 format. His T20 exploits are something the teams look for, especially in the IPL.
Since 2018, the left-handed batsman has accumulated 1365 runs in 38 innings at an amazing average and strike rate of 39.00 and 151.67 respectively in the shortest format of the game. Among all the batsmen to score at least 450 runs in the Big Bash League, Matthew Wade has the highest strike rate (151.87) since 2018. The 33-years old also boasts of having the best BARSA (193.91) in the given criteria.
Even in the recently concluded T20I series, Wade was the highest run-scorer (145) against India. Wade scored two half-centuries in the three-match T20I series at a sublime strike rate of 154.25 with the bat. Wade can score runs quickly in each phase of the game, making him a quality pick for the upcoming IPL.
Mushfiqur Rahim (BAN):
Mushfiqur Rahim, from Bangladesh, is another option available for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the auctions. The right-handed batsman has been a match-winner for his national team, Bangladesh, over the years. Rahim, being a middle-order batsman, becomes more valuable for RCB.
Since 2018, Rahim has scored 1745 runs at a decent average of 37.13 and a superb strike rate of 133.31 in the T20s. Moreover, he is the second-highest run-scorer (917) in the Bangladesh Premier League since 2019. The 32-years old has scored runs at a fabulous average and strike rate of 48.26 and 143.28 in the league.
Being an Asian batsman, Rahim can play the spinners quite well and rotate the strike very well in the middle-overs. Since 2018, he has a strike rate of 123.55 and plays only 28.1% dots, which means he can rotate the strike very well and take the game forward. Rahim went unsold in the auctions last year, though he might get a bidder for himself this time.