The IPL is yet to start and two players have already been ruled out for the first few weeks due to covid-19. After DC's Axar Patel, Devdutt Padikkal has become the latest player to have tested positive for Covid-19. He is currently in quarantine and has been isolated from the rest of the squad. The dashing opener was one of the bright spots for RCB last season, amassing 473 runs from 15 matches at a strike rate of 124.80.
He has provided quickfire starts and has also played several match-winning knocks. If he fails to recover in time, RCB might suffer a huge blow in their opening encounter against the five-time champions Mumbai Indians. Here we take a look at the players who could replace Devdutt Padikkal in the starting XI in IPL 2021.
#3 Srikar Bharat : He can open for RCB in IPL 2021
Srikar Bharat, the 27-year-old wicketkeeper batsman, could be one of the players to replace Padikkal in the starting XI. KS Bharat averages around 37.24 in first class cricket. He is also an opening batsman and could easily partner Virat Kohli at the other end.
KS Bharat is known for his brilliant gameplay and his wide range of shots. Also, playing Bharat in the XI won't take up a foreign slot either. Hence, he might be a like-to-like replacement for Devdutt Padikkal.
#2 Glenn Maxwell: He can bat anywhere in the innings
Glenn Maxwell was acquired by RCB for a massive 14.25 crores in the IPL auction. Despite his sloppy performances in the IPL over the last few seasons, Maxwell could always be a threat to the opposition with his quickfire cameos and eccentric fielding.
Maxwell could be one of the players who could play the role of an opener in the absence of Padikkal. Maxwell can develop his innings progressively under the guidance of Virat Kohli from the other end. Maxwell has also opened the innings for the Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians in past IPL seasons.
#1 Washington Sundar: He used to be a top-order batsman
Washington Sundar is also in contention to open the innings alongside Virat Kohli. Apart from his economic opening spell, Washington Sundar can bat comfortably and get the team off to a flier. In addition, he was also a top-order batsman for the Indian U-19 team during the U-19 Cricket World Cup.
Washington Sundar could surely be one of the clear favorites to open the innings in place of Devdutt Padikkal.