With only a few days left in the resumption of the second phase of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, Punjab Kings (PBKS) received a blow as their top-order batter Dawid Malan decided to pull out of the cash-rich league. The T20 tournament is set to start on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Malan, who was bought at his base price of INR 1.5 crores, appeared in the first half of IPL and played only one game, where he scored 26 runs.
In place of Malan, the Kings have included South Africa’s top-order batsman Aiden Markram. The right-handed batter is currently in Sri Lanka for the white-ball series and has impressed one and all with his recent few performances.
Just a night before his selection in IPL, Markram played a match-winning unbeaten knock of 48 runs off 33 balls which helped the Proteas to register a victory in the first ODI against the Islanders.
After having gone unsold in the previous auctions, this will be Markram’s first stint in the lucrative league. He has impressed in the shortest format as an opener. The Centurion-born has so far played 13 T20Is, in which he has managed to score 405 runs – including four fifties – at a strike rate of 150.
When it comes to T20s, Markram has scored 1403 runs in 57 matches, at a strike rate of 128 with 12 half-centuries.
Markram is still in Sri Lanka, where he is supposed to play two more T20Is on September 12 and 14. It will be interesting to see when he can join up with the squad and be available to get on the field for the KL Rahul-led team. So far in the IPL 2021, the Kings have lost five of their eight fixtures and are sitting at sixth position in the points table.