The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have signed Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga as a replacement for Adam Zampa for the second leg of the IPL 2021, the franchise announced on Saturday. The tournament, which has seen 29 completed matches before getting suspended in May, will resume on September 19 in the UAE.
Wanindu Hasaranga impressed everyone during the recently-concluded ODI and T20I series against India. He snapped 7 wickets in the 3 T20Is, with a best of 4/9 in the third T20I, bagging the Player of the Series award.
The leg-spinner was extremely difficult to tackle for the young and inexperienced Indian batters, outfoxing them with his clever variations; he can also whack the ball well with the bat making him a utility cricketer in white-ball cricket.
The franchise stated that Zampa will be “unavailable” for the remainder of the tournament. The leg-spinner, who is selected in Australia’s squad for the T20 World Cup, had pulled out of the season during its first half, played in India, citing personal reasons, and returned back home before the closure of Australian borders.
RCB welcomes Wanindu Hasaranga:
“We’re thrilled to welcome Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanidu Hasaranga to the RCB Family for the second leg of #IPL 2021 in UAE. He replaces Adam Zampa.” RCB Tweeted.
🔊 ANNOUNCEMENT 🔊
We’re thrilled to welcome Sri Lankan all-rounder Wanidu Hasaranga to the RCB Family for the second leg of #IPL 2021 in UAE. He replaces Adam Zampa. #PlayBold #WeAreChallengers #IPL2021 #NowAChallenger pic.twitter.com/nEf6mtRcNt
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) August 21, 2021
The 24-year-old also has snapped 80 wickets in 60 T20s so far at a brilliant bowling average of 14.95. He bats at a strike-rate of 133.21.
With the pitches in the UAE conducive to spin bowling, Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to make an impact in the IPL and in the T20 World Cup.
The Royal Challengers sit at the third position on the points table with 5 wins in 7 matches. They had a largely impressive first half of the season – for the first time in their history they won their first four IPL matches.
Further, the Virat Kohli-led franchise have also added Singapore hitter Tim David for Finn Allen, and Sri Lankan pacer Dushmantha Chameera for Daniel Sams. Fortunately for RCB, Glenn Maxwell and Kyle Jamieson will return to play.
They will resume their season on September 20 against Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi.
The IPL final is scheduled for October 15 in Dubai, just two days before the T20 World Cup commences, where Sri Lanka will be featuring the Qualifying round to go through to the Super 12 stage.