The second phase of IPL 2021 begins on 19th September and is to be held in the United Arab Emirates.

After the first phase of the tournament, all the teams are looking in good shape except KKR and SRH.

All the teams are in full force for the second phase and have bought in replacements for the players who will miss the second phase due to various reasons.

Before the resumption of 2021 teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, and Kolkata Knights Riders have announced some replacements in their respective existing squads. RCB has made four replacements, followed by Rajasthan Royals with three and Punjab Kings with two. In addition to international stars, T20 tournament players from the Hundred, Big Bash, etc. are recruited by the teams.

Different IPL teams have selected players like Dushmanth Chameera, Tim David, Evin Lewis, Tim Southee, etc. as replacements for various players.

But when we talk about the size of the grounds in UAE, the conditions and pitches supporting the spinners we think that three players stand out in this list of replacements and will be the X-factor for their respective teams.

These three players are Wanindu Hasaranga for RCB, Adil Rashid for Punjab Kings, and Tabraiz Shamsi for Rajasthan Royals.

Conditions in UAE favouring the spinners

All the three stadiums which will be the venue for the second phase of IPL 2021 have assisted the spinners over the years. Yuzvendra Chahal was the top spinner with 21 wickets, followed by Rashid Khan with 20 wickets in IPL20 in the UAE.

UAE condition favoring spinners

In the list for the most economical bowlers, three spinners were featuring in the top five with a minimum of five matches played in IPL20. Rashid Khan topped this list with a fascinating economy rate of 5.37. The spinners dominated in UAE and was considered to be the trump cards for their respective teams. The size of the grounds also played a significant role when compared to India, where the size is comparatively smaller and there is less room to make mistakes, especially for spinners. As only three grounds are to be used for the tournament, pitches will be used again and again causing cracks which will be very useful for spinners. Overall spin-friendly conditions will be beneficial for teams with quality spinners who can grip and turn the ball effectively.

Top three replacements and their current form

As the pitches in the UAE and the conditions there are favourable for spinners, the trio of Sri Lankan leg spinner Hasaranga, South African chinaman Shamsi, and English leggie Adil Rashid are considered to be the top replacements for the UAE leg. Not only because of the conditions in UAE but also for their current form they can be the best replacements for their respective teams. All these three players fall in the top four of the ICC Rankings for T20 International bowlers. Their recent heroics explain the kind of form they are in.

Top 3 replacements performance in last 12 months in International T20's

All the three spinners have bowled at an economy rate of below 7 in the past 12 months which is an outstanding feat, especially for spinners. They also have a decent strike rate and averages and have performed well for their respective national teams. They are in red hot form and are not only bowling economically but also picking up wickets. They are the frontline spinners for their respective National teams and we expect them to make a major impact for their respective IPL teams.

Wanindu Hasaranga: The man with a golden arm

Hasaranga has been in the limelight since the India vs Sri Lanka series where he picked up seven wickets in the three T20 match series which included a four-wicket haul. He has had an impact on that series and so on and has been picked mainly because of that by RCB. At RCB he will partner with Chahal who performed pretty well in the UAE last year. The combination of Chahal and Hasaranga will be deadly as both are different kinds of leg spinners where Hasaranga bowls at a much quicker pace than Chahal. Hasaranga is currently the 2nd ranked ICC T20 bowler and has been on a roll for the past six months.

Wanindu Hasaranga's International T20's statistics

Hasaranga’s career stats are impressive and he has been a wicket-taker for Sri Lanka. He is also a capable tail-ender and can swing his bat when necessary. Hasaranga has been a spectacular find for RCB and he can bring stability to this RCB squad with his economical and wicket-taking bowling ability.

Tabraiz Shamsi – the number one ranked T20 bowler

Shamsi is currently on top of the International T20 bowling rankings and he has been in splendid form. He has risen from the bottom and now has become the frontline spinner for South Africa. Shamsi’s unique quality of bowling chinaman has been quite effective over the past few years. His action is quite different and he bowls tight lines, avoiding the batsmen to go after him to hit the big shots. Shamsi is in the form of his life and after been recalled in IPL 2021 by Rajasthan Royals, he will surely make a huge impact in this year’s tournament. 

His career T20 stats suggests that Shamsi is an aggressive bowler who picks up wickets for his team at regular intervals. Shamsi has played in the IPL before but was not able to perform well as he was new to international cricket at that time. Shamsi should feature in the playing XI as he is a quality spinner and Rajasthan Royals doesn’t have one in their current squad. Also, with the conditions being friendly for the spinners, Shamsi might be the answer to their questions. With the kind of form, he is in Rajasthan Royals has picked up a diamond and can hope that he can turn the fortunes to their side in the second leg of IPL 2021.

Adil Rashid – the veteran leg spinner

For a long time now, Rashid has taken care of the spin department of the formidable English side in the shortest format of the game. Rashid currently stands at number four of the ICC T20 rankings for bowlers. Rashid, a master of leg-spin, is an experienced bowler who can contribute valuable input to his team. Punjab Kings have chosen Rashid to replace the Australian quick Jhye Richardson. Rashid has been in great form recently and he has also been consistent throughout his T20 career. 

Rashid has picked up 65 wickets at an astonishing average of 24.29 with a strike rate of 19.4. He has been in the international circuit for a long time, but he is making his IPL debut with Punjab Kings. Punjab Kings has done an amazing job by roping in the veteran Rashid as he can bring the experience the bowling line-up was missing and can be valuable in winning matches consistently for the team.

Conclusion

The three top replacements are in great form and are roaring and ready to play the second leg of IPL 2021 on the back of some stunning performances in the last six or twelve months. The spinners will get a lot of help from the pitches of UAE and should make a great impact in the tournament. Perhaps they can make an impact on their teams and win the tournament this year. Hasaranga and Rashid are making their IPL debuts and Shamsi have also played only a handful of matches before. It will be exciting to watch all three of them in the second phase of the tournament and we think they will have a fantastic tournament for their respective teams.