Rising Pune Super Giants has become a mini hospital as their four key players are ruled out from IPL 2016 due to injuries. Now they need nurses more than fans and selectors who can act quickly. And contacts of various embassies to arrange visas as soon as possible. They lost their four first-choice foreigners : opener Faf du Plessis, No. 3 Steve Smith, big hitter Kevin Pietersen and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh. They have only got one replacement in the form of Australian Usman Khawaja, who can take du Plessis’ place at the top of the order. But still they need three replacement.
Here are possible replacements which can be picked only from the original list of players that entered the auction.
Mitchell Marsh’s replacement
Jimmy Neesham/ Grant Elliott: These two New Zealand cricketers were on the card of World Cup selection. But New Zealand selectors preferred Elliott over Neesham as Elliott is capable of power hitting. And Elliott proved it in the semifinal and final of the World Cup. Against the Indian bowlers, Eliott will be the right choice as his slow bowling will also provide an option to MS Dhoni.
West Indies’ World T20 winning captain may be an option but he has hardly played an innings of note in World T20 2016 and also not a regular bowler.
Steve Smith’s replacement
The inform Australian captain’s injury is a big loss for Pune franchise. Smith has scored the second hundred of this IPL. So, it will be difficult to choose his replacement. Marlon Samuels may be a good choice considering his gusty World T20 final performance. But, his inconsistency may force Pune to dig for other cricketers. Bangladesh batsman Tamim Iqbal is another option as the southpaw played a few outstanding innings during the World T20 in India.
Kevin Pietersen’s replacement
For this veteran batsman, there is only one great option that is veteran Australian Sydney Thunder captain Michell Hussey. Hussey is a great reader of Indian conditions and he still has the ability to destroy the bowlers. So this retired southpaw may replace Pietersen.