Josh Hazlewood, the 30-year-old Australian fast bowler, has opted out of IPL 2021 to prepare for the upcoming Sheffield Shield season and also to spend time with his family.
Regarding his decision to opt out of IPL 2021, Josh Hazlewood cited bubble fatigue and the need to rest ahead of a gruelling schedule ahead. He said in this regard:
"It's been a long 10 months in bubbles and quarantine at different times, so I decided to have a rest from cricket and spend some time at home and in Australia in the next two months. We've got a big winter ahead too. The West Indies is going to be a long tour, with Bangladesh (T20 tour) potentially thrown on the end of that. Then potentially the T20 World Cup leading into the Ashes, so it's a big 12 months, as it always is with Australia, and I want to give myself the best chance to be mentally and physically ready for that. That's the decision I've made, and it sits pretty well with me."
For full IPL 2021 schedule, click here.
Josh Hazlewood made three appearances for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in IPL 2020, conceding 64 runs and taking a solitary wicket at an economy rate of 6.4. He is the second Australian player, after Mitchell Marsh, to pull of IPL 2021.
Three players who could replace Josh Hazlewood at CSK for IPL 2021:
Chennai Super Kings will have a big task at hand to find a replacement for Josh Hazlewood. On that note, here's a look at three players who could replace the Australian bowler at CSK:
#1 Sean Abbott
Sean Abbott, the Australian spearhead, could be one of the possible options to replace Josh Hazlewood.
Abbott has a knack of getting wickets during the middle overs and can also disrupt the momentum of the opposition with slow deliveries and bouncers. With his height, Sean Abbott could come in handy during CSK's home matches.
He found no bidders in the IPL 2021 auction after being priced at Rs 50 lakh.
#2 Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan, the New Zealand left-arm pacer, has become a household name in T20 leagues across the world.
Though he last played for New Zealand in 2018, he still continues to remain a mainstay in various T20 teams across the globe. Despite his pedigree in the format, he found no bidders in the IPL 2021 auction after spending five successful seasons with Mumbai Indians.
McClenaghan, with his varying line and lengths, could stifle batsman and also prove to be a backup option for Sam Curran.
#1 Billy Stanlake
Billy Stanlake, the Australian T20I specialist, looks one of the likely favourites to replace Josh Hazlewood.
Stanlake has always been a wicket-taking bowler and could easily fit into CSK's strategies. The lanky bowler has been a major threat in the powerplay overs, forcing batsman to make mistakes. He also has prior experience of playing in the IPL, doing so with the Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Billy Stanlake (base price of Rs 1 crore) went unsold in the 2021 IPL auction.