IPL 2019: The candidates to replace outgoing Australian, England and South African cricketers

The exodus of overseas players, chiefly from England, Australia and South Africa, has begun in IPL 2019. Englishman Jos Buttler flew home last week for the birth of his child and will not return to play for Rajasthan Royals, while his team-mates Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are due to leave India to link up with Buttler and the England limited-overs squad for series before the World Cup.

Jonny Bairstow signed off his strong IPL 2019 campaign in Sunrisers Hyderabads‘ six-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday and will return to England.

Also due to leave the IPL are the recalled Australian pair of Steve Smith and David Warner, while from the South African contingent Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, David Miller, Quinton de Kock and Imran Tahir are expected to depart India in the next week or ten days.

Smith and Warner will fly back to Australia to attend a pre-World Cup camp in Brisbane, having both returned to the defending champions’ squad for the tournament.

Moeen Ali is another who will leave for England this week, leaving Royal Challengers Bangalore without their best allrounder. And with Marcus Stoinis also due to return to Australia, RCB will be further depleted.

So who will replace these big names?

Let’s review the squads.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD

New Zealand opener Martin Guptill had been identified as the player to step in once Bairstow left, but the SRH management also has to add a wicketkeeper. Their options are Wriddhiman Saha and Sreevats Goswami. Guptill for Bairstow is a straightforward swap, but SRH need to drop an Indian batsman to get in Saha or Goswami.

Yusuf Pathan looks like the man to get the chop, since he has not been scoring many runs and does not bowl in the IPL any more.

David Warner Jonny Bairstow SRH openers
David Warner andJonny Bairstow are the top two run-getters of IPL 2019. © BCCI

With Warner set to leave in a week, SRH can play Kane Williamson once he gets back from New Zealand, having flown home after the death of his grandmother.

SRH are fourth on the points table, and if Orange Cap holder Warner is available for two more matches – April 27 and 29 – the team will need him to score heavily to boost their chances of reaching the IPL playoffs.

Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Nabi are two all-round options too, but how do you replace the form of Bairstow (445 runs at 55.62) and Warner (574 runs at 71.75)?

RAJASTHAN ROYALS

Like SRH, this team will be very hard hit. Without Smith, Buttler, Stokes and Archer the Rajasthan Royals management have options in Ashton Turner, Liam Livingstone, Ish Sodhi and Oshane Thomas. None, however, offers what the aforementioned four players do.

As we saw in 2018, once Buttler and Stokes left, Rajasthan stumbled in the IPL playoffs. This time around their playoff chances hang by a thread and the loss of four vital overseas players could signal the end of their campaign.

Smith is expected to be around for one week, which means he should play three more games: on April 26, 27 and 30.

A big worry is the lack of runs from Australian Turner, who has three golden ducks in a row this season.

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE

With 216 runs at a strike-rate of 168.75 and five wickets at an economy of 6.68, Moeen has been a utility player for RCB. As the bottom-placed franchise seeks to win all their remaining matches to qualify for the IPL playoffs, Moeen’s loss will be felt. With Moeen and Stoinis out, the team has Colin de Grandhomme, Shimron Hetmyer and Tim Southee to choose from.

Imran Tahir 4/27 CSK vs KKR
A familiar sight: Imran Tahir runs around the field after taking a wicket. © BCCI

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Tahir is their leading wicket-taker, so that will be a huge void to fill once he leaves India. South Africa’s captain du Plessis has made a few handy contributions while opening the innings for CSK, but the team has Sam Billings to fall back on.

MUMBAI INDIANS

Wwhenever de Kock leaves, Mumbai Indians can turn to Evin Lewis, the big-hitting West Indies opener, and get Ishan Kishan to keep wickets. The three-time winners will let go of Australian fast bowler Jason Behrendorff, who has taken five wickets in five matches. The likely swap will be New Zealand quick Mitchell McClenaghan who has warmed the bench for weeks, and they also have Beuran Hendricks, who on Tuesday was added a replacement for the injured Alzarri Joseph.

DELHI CAPITALS

Once their strike bowler and holder of the Purple Cap for most wickets, Kagiso Rabada, leaves to join his South African team-mates, DC will call on Trent Boult.

KINGS XI PUNJAB

South African David Miller is expected to leave before the tournament ends, which means that KXIP will have to pick from Nicholas Pooran and Moises Henriques.

KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS

The only player that KKR are going to lose is Joe Denly, the England allrounder, in the next couple of days. But Denly only played one match, in which he was bowled first ball.