“Bring in Finch or Billings” – Virender Sehwag sees Pat Cummins’ absence as an opportunity for KKR to strengthen batting 

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have suffered a huge setback with pacer Pat Cummins being ruled out of the remainder of IPL 2022 with a hip injury. According to former Indian batter Virender Sehwag, though, KKR must look at it as an opportunity to strengthen their batting department, which has been consistently underperforming.

Cummins, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Tim Southee were Kolkata’s four overseas players in the franchise’s last match against the Mumbai Indians (MI). Cummins claimed three for 22 and played a stellar role in KKR defending a total of 165.

With their IPL 2022 playoff hopes still alive, Kolkata will take on the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Saturday. Previewing the match on Cricbuzz, Sehwag urged Shreyas Iyer’s team to bring in an overseas batter with Cummins being ruled out. He said:

“If Umesh Yadav is fit or even if KKR play another Indian pacer instead of Cummins, they can bring in Aaron Finch or Sam Billings as the fourth overseas player. I don’t think they will drop Ajinkya Rahane. After a long time, Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer gave KKR a good start in the last game. So the opening duo is likely to stay. But I feel someone like Billings will come into the middle-order if Cummins is replaced by an Indian bowler. They need to strengthen their batting, which is not working.”

Kolkata’s batting was below par against Mumbai as well. They were well placed at 87 for one in the 11th over but failed to cross 170 as Jasprit Bumrah claimed five wickets for 10 runs. Cummins (3/22), Russell (2/22) and Southee (1/10), however, bowled well to ensure a crucial 52-run win for their franchise.

“I don’t think they will go to Shivam Mavi” – RP Singh on Pat Cummins’ replacement

Although fast bowler Shivam Mavi was one of KKR’s big purchases at the auction (₹7.25 crore), former Indian pacer RP Singh opined that the think tank would not turn to him at this crunch stage. Mavi has proved very expensive in a couple of matches.

Asked about Cummins’ possible replacement in the playing XI, Singh replied:

“If Umesh Yadav has recovered, he will obviously be the first choice. I don’t think they will go to Shivam Mavi because he has been very expensive in the last couple of matches. Harshit Rana is another option they can look at.”

Mavi, 23, returned with figures of one for 50 against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). He was struck for five sixes in his last over as Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder went after him.

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