Five players who came in as replacements but became stars at the end of the season

The league stage of IPL 2020 is over and now all the focus is on the playoffs. It was one of the closest IPL seasons we will ever see as the qualification went down to the last day of the league stage. In this season, we saw a lot of players got injured and replacements had to be called. There is a long list of players who got injured during the IPL. Every year in the IPL we see whenever a player gets injured, teams try and name a like to like replacement. Sometimes these replacements don’t work because they are not as good as the original player but sometimes, they turn out to be the game-changers. So, let’s have a look at five such players who came in as replacements and became superstars at the end of the season.

5. James Pattinson – Mumbai Indians

Just before the start of this IPL season, Lasith Malinga ruled himself out of the tournament, and as a result, MI needed to get in a replacement. James Pattinson, the Australian pacer was bought in place of Lasith Malinga. Malinga is a huge name in the IPL and to replace a player like him can be a difficult job. But he has done a great job in the absence of Malinga. Pattinson who might have been the third pacer after Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter Nile got a chance as the second pacer due to an injury to Coulter Nile. So far he has picked up 11 wickets in 10 games and has done a great job of supporting Bumrah and Boult. Pattinson can play a key role in the playoffs for Mumbai Indians.

4. Washington Sundar – Rising Pune Supergiant

Ravichandran Ashwin who is India’s premier off-spinner in red-ball cricket was ruled out of IPL 2017. RPS had struggled in 2016 as they had ended second last on the points table. RPS announced Washington Sundar, the young off-spinner from Tamil Nadu as Ashwin’s replacement. To everybody’s surprise, he was brilliant throughout the season, especially in the powerplay. He used to keep it tight and pick up wickets at a crucial stage in the game. He picked up eight games in 11 games at an economy rate of 6.16. He picked up three wickets in Qualifier 1 which helped RPS reach the Finals of the IPL in only their second season. He was a good replacement for R Ashwin as it worked out pretty well for RPS.

3. Anrich Nortje – Delhi Capitals

Chris Woakes was supposed to be a part of the Delhi Capitals side in this year’s IPL. Unfortunately, he opted out of the tournament, and as a result, Anrich Nortje was named as his replacement. The South African pacer hadn’t played a single game in the IPL before this but the way he has performed this season it seems as if he is playing the IPL for the last five years. He bowled really quick which surprised many batsmen and so far he has picked up 19 wickets in 13 games. He has been the perfect partner for Kagiso Rabada and their combination has worked wonders for Delhi Capitals. Maybe if Chris Woakes would have been here it might not have been so successful. It was a blessing in disguise for Delhi Capitals.

2. Imran Tahir – Rising Pune Supergiant

Mitchell Marsh, the Australian all-rounder who has ruled out of this IPL after one game was also ruled out in IPL 2017 before even playing a game. Imran Tahir who was one of the top leg-spinners in the world at that time was unsold in the Auction. RPS named him as a replacement and it worked perfectly for RPS. RPS already had Ben Stokes so they would have kept Mitchell Marsh on the side-lines and getting in Imran Tahir meant they got a great leg-spinner who could get a place in the XI. Tahir was the second-highest wicket-taker for RPS in 2017 as he picked up 18 wickets in just 12 games at an economy rate of 7.85. He was instrumental in RPS reaching the playoffs of that season.

1. Chris Gayle – Royal Challengers Bangalore

The Universe Boss was unsold in the 2011 Auction because the West Indian players weren’t going to be available for the majority of the IPL. Chris Gayle who wasn’t playing for West Indies was sitting in a bar when he got a call from Vijay Malaya asking whether he is fit to play and he looked at himself and said yes. In two days’, he was at the Eden Gardens scoring a century for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Kolkata Knight Riders. Gayle was named as a replacement for Dirk Nannes who got injured midway through the season. In 2011, Gayle went on to score 608 runs in 12 innings at an average of 67.56 and he was the leading run-scorer of that season. Gayle became the superstar of the IPL and to date keeps smashing the bowlers to all the parts of the park. The Universe Boss has been the best replacement in the history of the IPL.

Shubham K

I am currently studying Computer Engineering at SVNIT Surat. I am a big cricket fan and like writing about Cricket.
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