What has been a difficult start to the Indian T20 League for Team Rajasthan became worse in the first week itself when their star overseas pick Ben Stokes was ruled out of the tournament due to a broken finger. The team was already struggling to cope with the absence of last year’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ Jofra Archer and Stoke’s injury update is another major blow to their tournament hopes.
However, they do have options in the unsold players’ list to pick from. Let’s look at five such replacements who won’t be like-for-like replacements of Ben Stokes but solve Team Rajasthan’s issues in different departments.
Alex Hales is a veteran when it comes to T20 cricket and has experience of playing at different leagues with different franchises all over the world. In the recently concluded Big Bash League, Hales finished as the highest run-getter of the tournament with 543 runs for his team Sydney Thunder. Alex Hales can be used as a top-order batsman at the same time his experience can be used in the middle order as well. He’ll certainly be one Rajasthan will have their eyes on as a potential replacement for Ben Stokes.
It’s a big surprise as to how Adil Rashid has never been picked to play in the Indian T20 League. He is one of the leading white-ball bowlers in international cricket and is a genuine wicket-taker. This current Rajasthan bowling line up is missing a wicket-taker in it and Adil Rashid could make a difference for them.
Australia’s white-ball captain, Aaron Finch has had a troubled time in the Indian T20 League but he is in good form currently and played an important role in Australia’s T20 series win against New Zealand. He will bring his leadership qualities to the team as well and can be a helping hand to the young captain Sanju Samson.
The Sri Lankan all-rounder may not be at his peak in his cricket career but can be more than a handy replacement for Ben Stokes. He is probably the only experienced all-rounder in the pool of unsold players and has valuable experience of playing in the competition previously.
Devon Conway was the first New Zealander to make five consecutive 50 plus scores in T20 cricket. He may sound like a left-field option but is in great form leading up to the tournament with a 99* against Australia in the previous series. The left-hander has ridiculously great numbers in T20Is as he averages almost 60 and strikes at over 150.