Owing to the proximity of the IPL 2021 second-phase schedule to the World T20, many overseas cricketers might pull out. Franchises will have no option but to chose replacements from nations who give NOC’s or pick cricketers who are not in contention to play the World T20. James Faulkner has brought himself back to the picture with his brilliant start to the second phase of PSL 2021 in the UAE. He has collected eight wickets in three games and has also contributed with a cameo of 22 for Lahore Qalandars so far. The Aussie anyways has experience in IPL, having played 60 games, in which he has collected 59 wickets and scored 527 runs. Hence, with him being in form and currently not being considered in the Australian T20I team, here are five franchises that can sign James Faulkner as a replacement in IPL 2021.
1) Chennai Super Kings
With five wins from seven encounters, CSK has gotten off to a good start in IPL 2021. However, they could be without the services of Sam Curran and Moeen Ali for the remaining games. ECB’s Managing Director Ashley Giles has already hinted that the English players will be unavailable.
Especially as a replacement for Curran, Faulkner will be a great pick. Like Curran, Faulkner also bats in the lower-order and is a left-arm medium-pacer. Hence, without tinkering with the combination much, CSK can fill Curran’s absence by hiring Faulkner.
2) Kolkata Knight Riders
Pat Cummins has already confirmed that he would not be part of the remaining games of IPL 2021. KKR are currently seventh on the points table, and they would need an instant game-changer as Cummins replacement.
The current options in the KKR pace unit are dominated by right-handers. The team has also struggled with the lack of batting depth. James Faulkner is one player who can solve both these issues. Hence, KKR can sign James Faulkner as a replacement in IPL 2021.
3) Rajasthan Royals
With players like Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Andrew Tye and Liam Livingstone all missing out, Rajasthan struggled with fewer overseas options in the first phase of IPL 2021. If the unavailability of English players is confirmed, Jos Buttler will also drop out for the next phase. The same is the case with Mustafizur Rahman, who will be important for Bangladesh in World T20.
Considering the very few options around, Rajasthan could turn their heads to one of their former players – James Faulkner. In IPL 2013, Faulkner collected 28 wickets for RR, the second-highest in a single season in IPL history. Hence, it would not be a surprise if RR signs James Faulkner as a replacement in IPL 2021.
4) Sunrisers Hyderabad
It is unsure if T Natarajan would be fit by September and the availability of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson are also doubtful. Hence, there is a likelihood that multiple vacant spots would open up in SRH.
Currently languishing at the bottom of the table with just one win in seven matches, SRH needs a miracle to qualify for playoffs. In the first phase, they struggled with the lack of an aggressor in the lower middle-order. Faulkner is someone who can fill that role. He also comes in with his primary role of a T20 specialist pacer, which now looks more attractive as the player is doing exceedingly well in the UAE.
5) Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals has enough depth in their unit, but if the foreign imports pull out, it will be a tricky situation for the 2020 runner-ups. Especially if the South African cricketers back out, DC would struggle in the bowling department.
DC would always like to add a left-armer to their pace attack to provide variety. Even better if the bowler can ace the slower deliveries. L Meriwala was signed up for it, but he did not show promise in his game-time. Faulkner can be a realistic choice for this attack. He will provide more options to the captain in the bowling department, apart from adding depth in the batting order.