Indian Premier League (IPL) sides Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have named replacements to compensate for the loss due to injury they have incurred. Daredevils, who are without JP Duminy this season, have called in Australian fast bowler Ben Hilfenhaus to their side. The South African spin bowling all-rounder has pulled out of the IPL due to personal reasons. Hilfenhaus, a veteran of 27 Tests, 25 ODIs and 7 T20Is for Australia, has previously played two seasons in the IPL.
On the other hand, RCB has roped in domestic talent Vishnu Vinod as the replacement for injured KL Rahul. The Karnataka star, who was one of the top performers for India this season, picked up a shoulder injury ahead of the start of the tournament and is scheduled to undergo a surgery in London to recover completely before the start of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
It was earlier reported that Tamil Nadu’s N. Jagadeesan was the favourite to replace Rahul. The reports looked close to becoming a reality after he was called up for a trial by the franchise. The likes of Vinod, Karnataka batsman Pavan Deshpande and Himachal Pradesh’s Prashant Chopra were the other candidates who attended the trials under the supervision of RCB head coach Daniel Vettori on April 2.
Vettori, after making the youngsters face the likes of Shane Watson, Tymal Mills and Adam Milne, zeroed in on the 23-year-old Vinod. Known for being an aggressive top-order batsman, he has been a top achiever for Kerala in the T20I format, having scored 338 runs in 38 runs at an impressive of 33.80 and eye-catching strike-rate of 143.22. Vinod is expected to join the RCB squad ahead of their second game against Delhi Daredevils on April 8.
The ongoing season is currently injury-marred as many of the top players have been ruled out of the season due to injury related issues. RCB, in particular, has been the worst hit. The Bengaluru side was forced to play with their regular skipper Virat Kohli and star striker AB de Villiers in the season opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 5 at Hyderabad. Their absence was clearly felt as RCB lost the game by 35 runs after being set a target of 208 runs to win.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu batsman Washington Sundar was signed by Rising Pune Supergiant as a replacement for off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin. Sundar represented India at the under-19 level and made his senior debut for Tamil Nadu last season. They also brought in leg-spinner Imran Tahir to replace injured all-rounder Mitchell Marsh.