New Delhi, Sep 01 (PTI): Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday roped in West Indian duo of Evin Lewis and Oshane Thomas as replacement players for the remainder of IPL to be held in the UAE from September 19.
While Lewis will be a replacement for England wicketkeeper batsman Jos Buttler, Thomas came in place of England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the squad.
“IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals today announced the final set of their replacement players. West Indian duo of Evin Lewis and Oshane Thomas will be joining the Royals squad as replacement players for the remainder of IPL..,” the franchise said in a release.
Lewis, 29, made his debut for West Indies during their 2016 World T20 campaign in India, and has 1318 runs to his name in 45 T20Is, at a strike rate of 158.
He also scored 1847 runs for West Indies in 57 ODIs. His blistering performances for the national side also led him to being picked up by the Mumbai Indians in 2018, for whom he scored 430 runs in 16 matches across 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Fast bowler Thomas, who is currently playing for the Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League, made his international debut in 2018, having faced India in a bilateral ODI and T20I series.
Since then, Thomas, a recipient of West Indies’ Emerging Player of the Year Award in 2019, has picked up 27 wickets in 20 ODIs, and 19 wickets in 17 T20Is.
In the IPL, the fiery bowler has represented the Royals in 2019, picking up five wickets in four matches, and was with the franchise during the 2020 season in the UAE as well.
I have made changes to my bowling action, reveals Unadkat
Dubai: He had started the current IPL season on a bright note with a match-winning effort against Delhi Capitals and senior Rajasthan Royals speedster Jaydev Unadkat wants to carry on the good work, albeit with a tweak in his bowling action when the proceedings start in the UAE. Unadkat, who will be Royals’ most experienced bowler with 84 IPL games under his belt, in fact, took time off from social media to concentrate on the technical aspects of his bowling. “I have worked on some of the technicalities in my bowling. I wanted to make a few changes in my bowling action, so was working on that, and that itself requires a good amount of time, so I was devoted towards making those changes and getting used to them,” Unadkat was quoted as saying in a media release issued by Royals.
“I wanted to do some work with my bowling and wanted to go off the attention a bit. It’s always nice if you can have some time with only yourself and the family, and not really listen to what the outside world has to say about you,” he elaborated.
The highlight for Unadkat during the postponed first phase in India was 3/15 figures against DC which earned him Player of the Match award and he hopes to continue in the same vein.
“It’s been a good start for the team and for me personally as well. That game (against DC) was crucial, I was coming back into the team, so I had to do well. I was pretty happy with the way I was bowling in that part of the season, and I’ll be looking to continue doing the same in this phase as well but with a few improvements that I’ve been working on during the off season.”
Unadkat is expected to be a guiding force for the Royals bowling group, which also has young Chetan Sakariya in its ranks, who will be even more fired up after having made his international debut in Sri Lanka.
“He’s (Sakariya) a very honest guy, keeps working hard for his game so it’s good to see him get rewarded. He’s been doing that for Saurashtra and now he did that for RR as well. So yes, really happy for him and I believe he’ll only learn and get better as he’s quite young.”
Unadkat said that the duo have talked about the “technical aspects of bowling”, and Sakariya comes up to him “whenever he has doubts in his bowling”.
The role of a mentor is not something new for Unadkat, he said.
“I think I’ve been playing that role in our team for the past 2-3 years because of the experience I have in the IPL till now, and I quite like to do it. Nowadays to be honest, it’s not about one leader in the pack, everyone who is coming in has played at the highest level somewhere or the other down the line.”