Royal Challengers Bangalore has been forced to make a change to the squad for IPL 2021. The Bangalore-based franchise announced late on Wednesday that Josh Philippe has withdrawn from the tournament due to personal reasons. RCB has swiftly moved to sign a replacement for Philippe by bringing in New Zealand’s Finn Allen.
Philippe was expected to get a starring role at RCB this season after his exploits in Big Bash League earlier this season. Moreover, RCB had released Aaron Finch, so there was a vacant slot at the top of the batting order. It could now open up the opportunity for Virat Kohli to open the innings for RCB this year.
RCB has managed to pull off a like-for-like replacement for Philippe. Finn Allen can keep wickets and he is also an explosive batsman. The 21-year-old is yet to make his debut for New Zealand, but he recently enjoyed a breakthrough season with Wellington in the Super Smash T-20 tournament. He ended up becoming the top scorer in the tournament.
RCB signs Finn Allen as replacement for Josh Phillippe the upcoming IPL season.
Finn Allen (wk batsman) was the top run-getter in the Super Smash League 2021.Played for Wellington. In 11 inns scored 512 runs, avg of 56.9, SR of 193, 6 fifties.Hit most 6s in the competition (25)
— Sarang Bhalerao (@bhaleraosarang) March 10, 2021
Allen might not be an immediate pick for RCB at the start of the campaign. However, his explosive batting could provide the team x-factor in the middle order since RCB found it difficult to score freely after the powerplay last year. It is not a surprise that RCB snapped him up since Director of Cricket Operations, Mike Hesson knows about Kiwi players better than anyone in the franchise.
The excitement about RCB this season will be around the batting trio of Glenn Maxwell, Kohli, and AB de Villiers. If this trio clicks for Bangalore, then it could be a long tournament for opposition bowlers. Devdutt Padikkal enjoyed a terrific debut campaign last season. He is excelling in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. With so many talented batsmen in the squad already, the addition of Finn provides them some interesting selection headache.