In a big blow to Delhi Daredevils, there pace spearhead has been ruled out of the tournament due to a back injury.
The South African pacer Kagiso Rabada felt tightness and discomfort during the Johannesburg Test against Australia and subsequent scans revealed a lower back stress reaction injury, which will sideline the 22-year-old for up to three months.
Commenting on Rabada’s injury, Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au:
“Kagiso has been diagnosed with a lower back stress reaction which will rule him out of cricket action for up to three months. He will need a month’s break from all physical activity before commencing with a rehabilitation programme to get him ready for the series against Sri Lanka in July.”
Rabada was Delhi’s lead foreign pacer along with Kiwi Trent Boult. He was retained by the capital based franchise using the RTM card for a whopping 4.2 crores. Delhi’s other fast bowling options include Mohammed Shami, Chris Morris, Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan.
A replacement for Rabada is yet to be named but it will have to be approved by the IPL technical committee.
Who can replace Kagiso Rabada?
The Gautam Gambhir-led Delhi Daredevils will now be allowed to bring his replacement from the ‘Registered and Available Player Pool’ (RAPP), pending an approval from the IPL technical committee.
Here are their options;
All-rounder: David Willey: The perfect T20 prototype
While he may not be a perfect replacement for Rabada, all-rounder David Willey is a talented T20 player, who can wing his bat and scalp wickets alike.
The Englishman has 2,176 runs and 146 wickets from 148 T20 matches. He has a staggering strike rate of 144.39.
The 28-year-old left-arm pacer is yet to play in the IPL.
Fact: Aussie all-rounder James Faulkner
If Delhi want to bring an all-rounder on board, James Faulkner is an option they can explore. Faulkner had a great IPL season in 2013 where he claimed 28 wickets. The Australian southpaw has 59 wickets and 527 runs from his 60 IPL matches.
Bowlers: Jason Holder and Josh Hazlewood
West Indies skipper Jason Holder or Australia’s Josh Hazlewood are viable bowling choices who can fill in Rabada’s shoes.
While Holder hasn’t had much luck in past IPL editions, his current form can earn him an IPL gig.
Hazlewood, on the other hand, hasn’t played in IPL.
He has decent experience in ODIs and Tests and he could be a great asset for Delhi.
Experience: Moises Henriques for a strong batting lineup
Considering Delhi already have several pacers in players like Trent Boult, Chris Morris, Mohammad Shami, DD may opt to make their batting line-up stronger.
For this, they have a great option in Moises Henriques who went unsold in this year’s auction.
The Aussie batting all-rounder has 969 runs and 38 wickets from his 57 IPL appearances.