Cummins recently stated that he will not be returning to the UAE to play in the remainder of the IPL when it resumes in September. The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League was forced to be postponed due to an increase in COVID-19 cases within the teams’ bio-bubbles.
Pat Cummins, the Australian pace spearhead, was purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping 15 crore before the IPL 2020, but his performances for the KKR were not stellar in his debut season. However, he was in excellent form this year, taking nine wickets in seven games and scoring a brilliant 66* in a losing cause against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
His absence will significantly harm KKR’s chances of making the playoffs, as the team is already in seventh place with only four points from seven games. It will be interesting to see who captain Eoin Morgan and team management bring in to replace him in the starting XI.
On that note, let’s take a look at the three KKR players who can replace Pat Cummins in the starting XI.
The Australian all-rounder has the ability to change the course of a game with his power hitting and astute bowling. Cutting was named Man of the Match in the IPL 2016 final against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), with his 15-ball 39 and two wickets assisting Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to their first IPL title.
In this year’s Big Bash League, cutting scored 200 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of 158 and averaged 50 for the Sydney Thunder (BBL). He was acquired by KKR in the IPL 2021 Auction but has yet to appear in a game for the Kolkata-based franchise. Cutting, on the other hand, with his medium pace and explosive batting lower in the order, will undoubtedly be a useful replacement for Cummins.
Tim Seifert is an aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman who can bat in the middle order as well as open the innings. KKR head coach Brendon McCullum was so impressed with Seifert’s T20 performances that he brought him in as Ali Khan’s replacement last year before retaining him for the IPL 2021.
Although Seifert has yet to appear in an IPL match, he has scored 695 runs in 35 T20Is for New Zealand at a strike rate of 133.10. This year, he also performed admirably for the Northern Districts in New Zealand’s domestic T20 tournament.
Eoin Morgan and the team management may be able to play local pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi alongside Prasidh Krishna and Andre Russell if Seifert is included in the playing XI.
Lockie Ferguson, a Kiwi fast bowler, has played 13 T20Is so far, taking 24 wickets at an impressive average of 13.16. Lockie has been a member of the KKR team since 2019, but he didn’t see much action in his first season. Ferguson struggled for game time again in 2020, appearing in only five IPL games and taking six wickets, including a three-wicket haul.
Ferguson’s ability to bowl at a fast pace and consistently pick up wickets makes him an X factor in KKR’s fast-bowling department in Cummins’ absence. After a brief injury layoff, the 30-year-old is back in action for Yorkshire in the English T20 Blast. He recently scored three goals against Lancashire.