Senior New Zealand pacer Tim Southee has been roped in by the Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR) for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 as a replacement for Pat Cummins, a franchise source confirmed to Cricbuzz on Thursday (August 26).
The Australian speedster will be missing out on the second leg of the tournament as he and his wife are expecting their child around September-October.
This would also give Cummins more rest ahead of the T20 World Cup, also in the UAE, and the following home Ashes. The lanky pacer recently pulled out of Australia’s tour to West Indies and Bangladesh along with a few other high-profile cricketers.
Tim Southee Joins Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) For IPL 2021 UAE Leg:
On Thursday (26th August), KKR official confirmed the news of roping in Kiwi bowler Tim Southee for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 as Pat Cummins’ replacement.
“Tim has been a strong player and has been the spearhead of the New Zealand team. In the UAE conditions, we hope he will be very effective,” a KKR official said as quoted by Cricbuzz.
Tim Southee missed last year’s IPL as he had gone unsold; he was also not bought for this year’s tournament, by now makes a return after last playing in 2019, for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, when he leaked at an economy of 13.11 in 3 matches.
KKR would be the fifth IPL team for the Kiwi seamer, after representing Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Overall, he has snapped 28 wickets in 40 IPL matches, at a dismal average of 46.18, while leaking runs at 8.74 per over.
The 32-year-old has been named in New Zealand’s 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup. For the Black Caps, Tim Southee has 99 T20I scalps in 83 matches. He is unlikely to be a starter in KKR’s first eleven, as his compatriot, Lockie Ferguson, who was brilliant last year in the IPL, is likely to replace Cummins after being benched for the entire India leg.
As of now, only Cummins is the only overseas star in the KKR camp to pull out of the remainder of the tournament. Captain Eoin Morgan, and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan both have been made available after England’s tour of Bangladesh was postponed.
The Knight Riders are sitting at the 7th spot, with just two points more than the bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad. Morgan’s side, in the first half of the season, managed only 2 wins in 7 games. The franchise would be hoping to turn their fortunes around in the second half of the tournament.