In a heartbreaking news for all the IPL 2021 fans, Ben Stokes will no longer be a part of the competition, forcing RR to hunt for a last-minute replacement. The English all-rounder suffered an injury while taking a catch during the Royals’ first match against the Punjab Kings. As a result, he will not play in IPL 2021. RR have suffered a massive blow. They planned to use Ben Stokes as an opener this year.
However, now that Stokes is not available, RR will have to look for a replacement. RR could have managed without him if Jofra Archer was there. However, even he is dealing with an injury issue. RR now need either an opening batsman or an all-rounder. They can go for an overseas name, and here are the five ideal replacement signings.
1. Colin Munro can be a great replacement for Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes opened the innings for RR in the previous season. Stokes also did the same thing this year. RR made it clear before the tournament began that he won’t bowl much. So, the Royals can go for an opening batsman as Stokes’ replacement. Colin Munro can be a great choice for it.
Munro has played for multiple teams in IPL. He has been one of the most successful players for New Zealand. Also, he has a great record in the game’s shortest format. Munro can even bowl if the team needs. So, he can be a preferable option.
2. Devon Conway
The other Kiwi option available with RR is Devon Conway. Many IPL fans were disappointed when he went unsold in the auction. Conway was in sensational touch in T20 cricket. He was born in South Africa. However, he plays cricket for New Zealand.
Conway recently made his debut in T20Is. He has done well in both ODIs and T20Is for New Zealand. Conway could solve many issues for RR with his batting brilliance. It will also give support to Sanju Samson in the lineup. Hence, Conway could be a great choice as well.
3. Thisara Perera could join RR as the replacement of Ben Stokes
Surprisingly, not a single Sri Lankan player is a part of IPL this year. There are many quality players in SL. However, the IPL franchises did not bid for any. With Kumar Sangakkara present in RR camp, there is a chance RR could go for Thisara Perera. He can bat left-handed and also bowl right-arm pace. However, he cannot open for RR.
In that case, RR can use Jos Buttler as the opener. Buttler and Manan Vohra could open. Perera could play the finisher’s role. He could also give a few important overs for the team. Also, Perera was in great touch during the 2020 LPL competition.
4. Corey Anderson
Corey Anderson is a former Kiwi all-rounder. He recently switched to the USA. Anderson had played a match-winning knock against the Royals in 2014. So, no team would know better about his abilities than Rajasthan. Just like Thisara Perera, Anderson can be a finisher for RR. He can even bowl a few overs in the middle.
Anderson has represented multiple IPL teams. He can hit the ball out of the park with ease. Also, his medium pace tempts the batsmen to lose their wickets. In that case, RR can benefit a lot if they sign Anderson. Jos Buttler could then return to the opener’s position.
5. Carlos Brathwaite
Another option with similar skills is Carlos Brathwaite. The Caribbean player has not realized his full potential in IPL. However, if the Royals use him as their first-choice all-rounder, he can be a game-changer. Brathwaite has done well for SRH and Delhi in IPL. He has also played much T20I cricket for West Indies.
Like Thisara Perera and Corey Anderson, Carlos Brathwaite can be a finisher for the Royals. He can bowl a few overs of right-arm medium pace in the middle. Brathwaite can be a game-changer for RR if he plays to his full potential. Jos Buttler can switch to the opener’s role. Thus, these are five ideal replacement options for Ben Stokes.