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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

IPL 2018: 3 players who can replace Virat Kohli if he is ruled out

Virat Kohli is a name which is familiar in every Indian household. The Indian skipper works hard during practice, due to which he has taken a lot of workload on his body recently. He was rested for the Nidahas Trophy after a long season and has set a benchmark for Indian cricket in terms of fitness on and off the field. After a dismal England tour in 2014, Kohli has been in supreme touch due to the amount of hard work that he has put in.

Even the best can suffer at times and so did Kohli as he injured his shoulder last year during the Test series against Australia, due to which he had to miss the initial games of the IPL. The Indian skipper will have to manage his workload during the IPL as he has a long season ahead of him. After the IPL, Kohli will travel to England to play county cricket prior to India's tour of England.

Let us take a look at three players who can replace Virat Kohli if he gets injured.

Himanshu Rana

Himanshu Rana showed glimpses of his flamboyant batting style during his recent under-19 stint with the Indian side. Even though he played a handful of games, he displayed hints of his skill and his potential during the event.

Even though the 19-year-old had a base price of INR 20 lakhs he failed to attract any franchises. It is impossible for someone to replace a player of Kohli's quality but Rana can be tried at RCB in case of an injury to any batsman. The young batsman will be eager to make a name for himself in the IPL and he will take any opportunity which comes his way.

Joe Root

Despite missing out on an IPL contract, Joe Root is the most discussed name in recent times. Root backed out of the 2017 IPL auction due to the birth of his child and since then the IPL gates have seemed to close for England's Test captain. Root's recent form did not help his cause at the IPL auctions as he failed to attract the interest of any franchise. The English batsman has a decent record in the shorter format as he averages 39.10 in T20I cricket.

He has scored 1325 T20 runs at an average of 32.31, accompanied by a strike rate of 125.59. His ability to tackle spin easily gives him an edge ahead of other players in testing Indian conditions. He has scored 375 runs in T20Is in India at an average of 53.57 along with a strike rate of 128.87 and his experience can be invaluable in the IPL.

Aiden Markram

Aiden Markram's recent form in Test cricket helped him earn the praise of the Indian skipper Kohli as he credited Markram on Twitter. The South African was unsold in the IPL auctions due to his defensive approach in Test cricket even though his statistics in T20 cricket look decent. The opening batsman has featured in 30 T20s, in which he has amassed 781 runs at an average of 35.50 with a strike rate of 125.56. He rose to prominence when he led the South African under-19 side to the title in the 2014 World Cup.

The Protean will be delighted to have an IPL contract under his belt. He can also act as a handy all-rounder, with the off-spinner having scalped 7 wickets in T20 cricket with an economy of 6.11. It will be a learning curve for the South African batsman if he gets an opportunity to play in the IPL.

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