Wanindu Hasaranga, the No.2 ranked T20I bowler in the world, bamboozled the Indian batsmen in the recently-concluded limited-overs series, picking up 10 wickets from five matches, including a match-winning 4/9 in the deciding T20I, which Sri Lanka won to clinch the series.
Former India batsman Virender Sehwag feels one of the players whom franchises will be keenly following is Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga.
Virender Sehwag: Wanindu Hasarana Bowled Brilliantly And Is Targeting A Few IPL Teams As A Replacement Player
With several players unavailable for the remainder of the IPL 2021 due to national commitments, bio bubble fatigue due to Covid-19 protocols, or T20 World Cup preparations, their replacements would be sought by their respective franchises with time.
“He bowled brilliantly. And the two wickets he took in the middle – of Sanju Samson and Ruturaj Gaikwad – broke India’s back. I think there was some news that Hasaranga is targeting a few IPL teams as a replacement player,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
“I mean he was hoping for something like that and he proved himself… it doesn’t get bigger than this. Those who would be thinking of picking him would be saying ‘we need to talk to him’ and get him as a replacement player. He delivered the right performance at the right time.”
Reports had emerged that with Adam Zampa set to miss RCB’s campaign – he had withdrawn from the IPL 2021 in the first half of the tournament itself – the two-time IPL finalists are pondering over acquiring Wanindu Hasaranga, although there is nothing concrete.
Over the years, the Indian Premier League has either produced stars or given players the opportunity to become one. And with the remaining half of the IPL set to take place in the UAE starting September 19, youngsters will be keen to hit the ground running once again.
Ashish Nehra: Not Too Many Sri Lankans Are Playing The IPL And Wanindu Hasaranga Has Shown A Lot Of Positives
Having said that, former India fast bowler Ashish Nehra believes Wanindu Hasaranga surely has presented a case for himself and must certainly have attracted the attention of franchisees who are seeking replacements for players.
“Only time will tell which franchise needs a replacement. But if there are discussions, and someone needs a spinner – he (Wanindu Hasaranga) could be the guy. If a player plays for a year and a half, he is considered a senior player in T20Is. He is the No. 2 ranked T20I bowler, although I do not believe much in rankings,” Nehra said on Cricbuzz.
“Not too many Sri Lankan are playing the IPL and if you talk about the India vs Sri Lanka series, Hasaranga has shown a lot of positives. Even Shanaka sent Hasaranga ahead of himself in batting.”
IPL 2021 is set to return from 19th September in the UAE after the bio-bubble breach saw the league to be suspended indefinitely. For the first time in the history of the Indian Premier League since its inception in 2008, no players from Sri Lanka are in the eight squads that took part in IPL 2021. About 31 Sri Lankan cricketers enrolled for the IPL 2021 auction event as 9 of them made it to the final cut.
The Sri Lankan leg spinner was awarded the Player of the Series award for his 7 wickets in the recently concluded T20I series against India. Wanindu Hasaranga also performed well with the bat in the preceding England ODI series where he amassed 100 runs in 3 games and was the highest scorer. Former Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan was confident of his chances of playing IPL.