IPL 2019: 5 replacement signings who have been rightly retained by the franchises 

Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan

The IPL auctions create quite a buzz every year. When auctioneer Richard Madley announces a name, the heart rates increase both for the players as well as the fans. The franchise owners, meanwhile, keenly follow the proceedings so that they can grab any opportunity of snapping up the player.

Such is the intensity of an IPL auction that everyone who is involved in the action (directly or indirectly) is on the edge of their seats until the announced bid for a player is over. Being a part of the auctions never guarantees a lucrative contract for a player until an interested franchise actually makes a solid bid.

But being unsold at the auctions doesn't mean it is the end of a player's IPL dreams. That's because, in life, "someone's misfortune is someone else's opportunity". Several unsold players (at the auctions) have got a contract over the years due to the withdrawal of signed players (due to injury or other commitments).

The last season of the IPL was no exception. Several players pulled out due to injury, and their replacements were subsequently named by the franchises. And while some of those replacements failed, some others grabbed the headlines.

Let us now look at five replacement signings of IPL 2018 who have been retained, and rightly so.

#5 Mitchell McClenaghan

McClenaghan went unsold at last year's IPL auction with a base price of INR 1 crore, which many franchises found to be quite high. Later, he re-joined his former franchise - the Mumbai Indians - as a replacement for the injured Aussie pacer Jason Behrendorff.

It was an unexpected homecoming for McClenaghan, who was released prior to the 2018 auctions in spite of three wonderful seasons at Mumbai.

McClenaghan made his IPL debut in 2015. He was instrumental in Mumbai's title wins in 2015 (18 wickets) and 2017 (19 wickets), providing regular breakthroughs.

Even after coming in as a replacement, there was no stopping him as he took 14 wickets last season.

McClanaghan is an efficient new-ball as well as death bowler, whose prowess lies in bowling yorkers, cutters and back-of-the-hand slower deliveries. The 32-year-old, who has 68 IPL wickets for the Men in Blue, deserved to be retained for at least one more season.

#4 Prasidh Krishna

Prasidh Krishna
Prasidh Krishna

Prasidh Krishna came in as a replacement for the injured young Indian pacer, Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Krishna had gone unsold at the 2018 IPL auctions at his base price of INR 20 lakh.

The 18-year-old Nagarkoti made the headlines by constantly clocking the 140-kph mark during the victorious 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand. India's second highest wicket-taker with nine scalps in three matches at an economy of 3.48, Nagarkoti was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping INR 3.2 crore at the 2018 IPL auctions.

Unfortunately though, the foot injury he sustained kept him out for the entire season and he was replaced by Prasidh Krishna.

The Karnataka pacer Krishna made good use of the opportunity by picking up 10 wickets in the seven matches he played for Dinesh Karthik's men last season. The 22-year-old was highly praised for his performance after coming in as a replacement, and he deserved one more season at the Eden Gardens.

#3 Ish Sodhi

Ish Sodhi
Ish Sodhi

The New Zealand leg-spinner made headlines when he took 3/18 in four overs to help his side dismiss hosts India for just 79 at the 2016 ICC World T20 in Nagpur. But much to everyone's surprise, the 6ft leggie went unsold at the 2018 auction with his base price of INR 50 lakh.

The man who has played in the Vitality Blast, Caribbean Premier League and Big Bash League was roped in by the inaugural IPL winners Rajasthan Royals to replace the injured Afghan teenager Zahir Khan.

The Royals, who returned to the league last season after a two-year hiatus due to the alleged involvement of their owners in the spot-fixing scandal, signed Zahir for INR 60 lakh at the 2018 IPL auctions. After coming in as Zahir's replacement, Sodhi impressed everyone with his economical spells (E/R of 5.86) while picking up five wickets in six matches.

The Kiwi will be key to the Royals' progress this season after being retained.

#2 Adam Milne

Adam Milne
Adam Milne

The New Zealand pacer, who went unsold at the 2018 auctions with a base price of INR 75 lakh, was drafted in by the Mumbai Indians as a replacement for the injured Aussie bowler Pat Cummins who pulled out of the last edition due to a back injury.

A natural speedster, Milne can be a constant threat to the batsmen with his pace and accuracy. Unfortunately for him though, the Kiwi pacer who has won 21 T20I caps for his nation did not get to play a game for the Mumbai Indians throughout the 11th edition of the IPL.

Nevertheless, he has been retained by Rohit Sharma's men, who have released Pat Cummins instead ahead of the 2019 IPL auctions.

Milne, who has 100 T20 wickets (4 IPL wickets), played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the ninth and 10th seasons. The talented bowler really deserved to be retained so that he could get a chance to prove his worth.

Milne joining his compatriot Mitchell McClenaghan in the Mumbai Indians camp for one more season will strengthen the Mumbai pace attack.

#1 David Willey

David Willey
David Willey

The Chennai Super Kings roped in the Yorkshire man as a replacement for the injured Indian international Kedar Jadhav, who suffered a hamstring injury in the very first game of the season.

The Pune-born middle-order batsman's quickfire 24 which included two crucial sixes took MS Dhoni's men home in the season opener against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium. Unfortunately however, Jadhav missed the rest of the season due to a Grade-2 tear sustained during that game.

Willey is an experienced T20 campaigner, having played 164 T20s and scoring 2516 runs while also picking up 158 wickets. Apart from his effective death bowling skills, the southpaw is also a very useful batsman with his lusty blows down the order.

Although he took just two wickets in the three matches he played during the 2018 season, the 28-year-old deserved to be retained - especially since CSK's star all-rounders Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo are well into their 30s.

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Edited by Musab Abid
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