Before the bowl-out of the thirteenth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), several teams have already received huge setbacks.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would be bereft from the services of Kane Richardson. Fellow Australian, Adam Zampa will replace him in the RCB squad.
Jason Roy has pulled out of IPL 2020 due to injury, whereas Suresh Raina has decided to withdraw from the upcoming tournament citing personal reasons.
Even Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have had their own setback in the form of a shoulder injury to Englishman Harry Gurney.
After impressive performances in the Big Bash League (BBL), the Venky Mysore-governed franchise decided to bag the services of the left-arm pacer at a base price of INR 75 lakhs in the 2019 IPL auctions.
In the eight appearances made for KKR last year, Gurney managed seven scalps at an economy of 8.8. He also earned the ‘Man of the Match’ title for his spell (2/29) against Rajasthan Royals.
Today, let’s have a look at the five possible replacement for Gurney:
1. Colin Munro
The Kiwi swashbuckler was bagged by KKR based on his huge reputation, back in the auctions for IPL 2016. But things did not quite fall into place for Munro as he could not translate his reputation into performances.
KKR, then, parted ways with Munro after the 2018 season. He was later bagged by Delhi Capitals (DC) for his services in the subsequent season.
After his release from the DC camp post-2019 season, he was left unsold in the previous auctions.
Moreover, the southpaw appears to be back to his best after recent outings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
Munro represented Islamabad United in PSL and Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) in the CPL 2020.
It would be interesting to see whether the KKR franchise prepares for Munro’s homecoming in the upcoming season of the IPL.
2. Colin de Grandhomme
For the New Zealand cricket team, Colin de Grandhomme, time and again, has proved his utility as a three-dimensional player.
Grandhomme had previously represented KKR during the 2017 IPL season before making a move to the RCB lineup.
The presence of Grandhomme would add more balance to KKR’s XI. Especially, with the likes of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine in the lineup already.
Grandhomme’s best IPL outing came during the 2018 season where he bloomed under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
The Kiwi all-rounder scored 131 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 155. But he could not replicate his performances in the following season.
3. Evin Lewis
Another impressive prospect for Gurney’s replacement is explosive opener, Evin Lewis. He has been in decent touch in CPL 2020.
The left-hander is representing the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots (SKP) in the ongoing tournament.
Lewis did not have a memorable outing while donning the jersey of Mumbai Indians in the recent editions of IPL. He was released before the auctions last year.
The MI think-tank went ahead and obtained the services of Chris Lynn. Interestingly, both Lynn and Lewis open for the Patriots in CPL.
4. Mustafizur Rahman
A like-for-like replacement of Gurney is Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman. His name would be surely discussed during the brainstorming session of KKR, who are pondering over the replacement of the Nottinghamshire man.
Rahman lit up the IPL with his path-breaking performances for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the 2016 and 2017 editions.
The Mumbai Indians, then, bought him during the mega auctions of 2018. But, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) did not permit the talented left-armer to feature in IPL 2019. This was due to the fact that the 2019 ODI World Cup followed shortly after the T20 competition.
Rahman’s bag of tricks might be useful for KKR, especially at the death overs. His slower deliveries and deadly yorkers have proved to be effective during the tournament in the past.
The Bangladeshi seamer might find himself useful on the dusty pitches of UAE. Though batsmen have figured out a way to deal with Rahman’s line and lengths off-late, still he is quite handy with the ball.
The KKR already have a potent pace attack in the form of Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkotti.