IPL 2018: Rajasthan Royals Likely To Replace Steve Smith With Heinrich Klaasen

South Africa player Heinrich Klaasen recently debuted in the 3rd ODI against India and proved his worth in the rest of the series

The ban slapped on former Australian skipper Steve Smith and his teammates, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, has created massive buzz in the cricketing world recently. The ousting of these cricketers has created some issues for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. The Rajasthan Royals (RR), who will be making a comeback in this tournament after two years, had earlier roped in Smith as their skipper for this season. After the ban, he will no longer be playing and the team has been left looking for his replacement.

According to several media reports, South African wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen is the first choice of the RR think-tank. The franchise needs a player who could play the spin bowling well on the Indian tracks and for this job, Klaasen is an eligible candidate.

ALSO READ: David Warner Breaks Down, Says ‘May Not Represent Australia Again’

“He [Klaasen] is an amazing player of spin. He has a vast array of shots, which tempted us to go for him. He plays the reverse sweep very well. We are aiming to get someone who can play spin well as we are pretty sure that spinners will have a big role to play during the IPL,” Hindustan Times quoted Rajasthan Royals head of cricket Zubin Bharucha as saying.

It was also learned that the RR team officials will not be breaking ties with Smith in the next season. Even if the former Aussie skipper returns in this tournament, they would continue to have Klaasen in the side.

Why is Klaasen The First Choice?

In India’s recently concluded tour to South Africa, Klaasen got space in the Proteas dressing room after Quinton de Kock was ruled out due to injury after the 2nd ODI played in Centurion. The 26-year-old debuted in the 3rd ODI and proved his worth in the rest of the series.

ALSO READ: IPL 2018: Mitchell Starc To Not Play For KKR, Sustains Injury In Right Leg

He played 4 ODIs and scored a total of 110 runs. He played a 43-runs knock off just 27 balls and helped his team win the only ODI against India out of six.

Later in the T20I series, Klaasen scored 92 runs in 3 games. His fearless batting in the 2nd T20I alongside JP Duminy not only won the game but also caught everyone’s attention He smashed 64 runs off just 4o balls, including 3 sixes and four fours.