Just before 10 days of the start of IPL 2021, Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has pulled out of the season. The 30-year old was part of CSK’s roster. The pacer wants to spend time with his family after being in a constant 10-month bio bubble. Now the question arises who will be the replacement of Josh Hazlewood in the upcoming Indian Premier League season.
Faf du Plessis’ brother-in-law Hardus Viljoen is CSK’s net bowler
According to reports, Faf du Plessis’ brother-in-law Hardus Viljoen may replace the Aussie pacer. Viljoen is currently a net bowler for the Chennai team. The 32-year old pacer had made his IPL debut for Kings XI Punjab in 2019. In 6 matches, the Saffer has picked wickets in the league. He has played one test match for South Africa.
Viljoen has the ability to clock 140 KMPh consistently. Also, he uses variations to trick the batsmen. He had registered himself for this year’s auction. However, he did not make it to the final list of players. Hardus Viljoen had tied the knot with Faf du Plessis’s sister in 2019. Plessis is a key member of CSK and is all set to open for the team alongside Ruturaj Gaikwad.
If not Hardus then the franchise may also eye the likes of Sean Abbott, Billy Stanlake and Mitchell McClenaghan. Sri Lanka’s young bowler Matheesha Pathirana is also in talks to replace Josh Hazlewood. The 18-year old pacer has caught everyone’s eyes for having similar action to Lasith Malinga. CSK has roped him as a net bowler for this season. Matheesha has played the U-19 World Cup 2020 for Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, MS Dhoni and co. have shifted their camp from Chennai to Mumbai. This year no team will play any match at their home ground. Suresh Raina who had opted out of the league last year due to personal reasons will continue to bat at no.3 position. The southpaw played Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for Uttar Pradesh as a preparation for the mega league.