With increasing Covid-19 cases in India, many overseas players have started to leave the IPL. The players are citing various reasons, with bio-bubble fatigue being the most popular of the lot.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) have been impacted the most due to this flurry of exits in the middle of the tournament. A mix of bad luck, unfortunate injuries, and now the threat of Covid has severely depleted their squad.
It all started with Jofra Archer pulling out of the IPL in 2021 to recover from an elbow injury. Ben Stokes, who featured in a solitary game for the Royals, was next to leave after breaking his left index finger.
Liam Livingstone and Andrew Tye were the latest to leave the RR camp because of possible bio-bubble fatigue. They are scared that with the rising number of cases in India, they will not be allowed to enter their home country due to travel restrictions and will have to continue to stay in the bio-bubble even after the tournament is over.
As a result, RR has been left with only four foreign players - Mustafizur Rahman, Jos Buttler, Chris Morris and David Miller. The 2021 IPL still has a long way to go and the depleted Royals have reportedly asked other franchises to loan them players for the rest of the season.
Get the updated IPL 2021 orange cap list here.
According to IPL rules, any player who has played less than two matches can be loaned out but cannot play for the home franchise again. It remains to be seen if franchises will opt to loan their players as many more players are contemplating pulling out of the 2021 IPL due to Covid.
On that note, let's take a look at overseas players who could be loaned out to the Rajasthan Royals.
Mitchell Santner - 0 matches played for CSK in this IPL
Mitchell Santner, the all-rounder from New Zealand, could prove to be a valuable addition for Rajasthan Royals. Santner has been a part of CSK since the 2019 season. He has taken 6 wickets in 6 matches and has a splendid economy rate of 7.
With the likes of Dwayne Bravo and Imran Tahir in CSK's squad, Santner hasn't been given a chance to prove his worth and is yet to start a game.
Rajasthan Royals have still not managed to find a proper bowling all-rounder in their playing XI. Acquiring Santner from CSK could also allow RR to field an extra batsman in their XI and bolster their bowling department as well.
Jason Roy - 0 matches played for SRH in this IPL
Jason Roy was picked as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh after initially going unsold at the IPL auction. Roy is an aggressive opening batsman who can clear the ropes with ease and play vital match-winning knocks.
RR hasn't managed to find a suitable opening batsman to partner Jos Buttler yet. Manah Vohra has thrown his wicket away on several occasions putting undue pressure on the RR middle-order. Roping in Jason Roy could change the fortunes for RR with solid starts at the top of the order.
With David Warner and Jonny Bairstow being the preferred openers for SRH over the past few seasons, Jason Roy could be on the move to Rajasthan Royals for the remainder of the 2021 IPL season.
#3 Jimmy Neesham - 0 matches played for MI in this IPL
Jimmy Neesham, the 30-year-old all-rounder, hasn't started a single match yet this season. With MI entrusting the all-round department to Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard, the Rohit Sharma-led team haven't had to avail the services of Jimmy Neesham.
Jimmy Neesham could prove to be an ideal replacement for Ben Stokes. Neesham's explosive hitting abilities and wicket-taking skills is exactly what the RR playing XI lacks right now. Neesham has been a proven game changer and can add value to the RR team.
With the Royals yet to find a replacement for Ben Stokes, they should look to sign Jimmy Neesham on loan.