Injury replacement IPL: The five who made the biggest impact

Injury replacement in IPL is a common thing as players get ruled out due to injuries and various other reasons. Some of the replacement players end up warming the bench and do not get a chance to play at all.

But in some instances, players, who came in as replacements, set the stage on fire. They make sure that teams dominate others and stamp their authority. With some stupendous performances, they show why they are deemed as some of the best in the business.

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Injury replacement IPL who had the biggest impact

Chris Gayle – Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2011

After playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2009 and 2010, Chris Gayle went unsold in the IPL auction for the 2011 edition. At a base price of $400,000, the hulk-like West Indies batter did not find a buyer, which raised a lot of eyebrows. However, Netherlands’ fast bowler Dirk Nannes was ruled out due to a side strain and Gayle was roped in an injury replacement IPL.

Once Gayle donned the RCB colours for the first time, he went from strength to strength and established him as a crucial member of the franchise. The southpaw finished the tournament as the leading run-scorer after racking up 608 runs from 12 matches at an average of 67.55 and a strike-rate of 183.13 with two centuries and three half-centuries to his name.

In one of the matches at the Eden Gardens, he took down his former team, KKR, with a knock of 102 runs off 55 balls with the help of 10 fours and seven sixes. His top score of 107 came against Kings XI Punjab at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.

Lendl Simmons – Mumbai Indians, 2014

Lendl Simmons was a powerful striker of the ball and he joined the Mumbai Indians as an injury replacement IPL back in 2014. Simmons joined MI after Jalaj Saxena was ruled out of the tournament due to a finger injury. The West Indies batter played some scintillating knocks for the Mumbai franchise, giving an account of the damage he can do.

Simmons finished as the leading run-scorer for MI, having hammered 394 runs from eight matches at an average of 56.28 and a strike-rate of 135.39 with a hundred and three half-centuries to show for his efforts. On the back of his performance, MI advanced to playoffs, although they failed to go all the way.

Simmons had his most memorable outing against Kings XI Punjab at the PCA Stadium in Mohali. After being asked to chase down a target of 157, MI romped home with six balls left in their innings. Opening the batting, Simmons scored an unbeaten 100 off 61 balls with 14 fours and 2 sixes. The other batters struggled a wee bit, but Simmons looked in a different zone altogether.

Injury replacement IPL
Photo by Icon Sport

Imran Tahir – Rising Pune Supergiant, 2017

Imran Tahir did not find a buyer in the IPL auction for the 2017 edition of the tournament. However, he joined the Rising Pune Supergiant as an injury replacement IPL after Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was ruled out due to a shoulder injury. After a disappointing campaign in the IPL 2016, RPS were looking to make amends.

Pune advanced to the final where they lost to Mumbai Indians by one run. Tahir played a crucial role for them after he finished as their second-highest wicket-taker after Jaydev Unadkat. The South Africa leg-spinner picked up 18 wickets from 12 matches at an economy rate of 7.85.

He got his best figures of 3 for 18 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MCA Stadium in Pune. The tweaker picked up the wickets of Adam Milne, Pawan Negi, and Samuel Badree. He made sure that RPS restricted their opponents to 96 for nine in 20 overs while defending 158.

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Anrich Nortje – Delhi Capitals, 2020

Back in 2020, Delhi Capitals played in the IPL final for the first time in the history of the T20 league. They lost to the Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. One bowler, who played a crucial part in their campaign was speedster Anrich Nortje.

At a base price of INR 50 lakhs, the Proteas pacer did not find a buyer. The Capitals roped Nortje in as an injury replacement IPL after Chris Woakes was ruled out, reportedly, due to health concerns.

In IPL 2020, Nortje, and his South African bowling partner Kagiso Rabada gave nightmares to opponents in broad daylight. Nortje finished fourth in the list of most wickets in the tournament after he accounted for 22 scalps from 16 matches at an economy rate of 8.39.

Nortje could not pick a four-wicket haul or a five-wicket haul, but he bowled with a lot of venom and made the batters work hard for their runs. In 40 matches in the IPL, the right-arm seamer has picked up 53 wickets at an economy rate of 8.33.

Rajat Patidar – Royal Challengers Bangalore, 2022

Back in 2022, Rajat Patidar joined Royal Challengers Bangalore as an injury replacement IPL. He replaced Luvnith Sisodia, who was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury. Patidar made sure of grabbing the chances with both hands after which he started making a name for himself.

In seven innings from eight matches, Patidar scored 333 runs at an average of 55.50 and a strike-rate of 152.75 with a hundred and two half-centuries to his name. Patidar notched his highest score when RCB faced Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

After being put in to bat first, RCB racked up a big score of 207 for the loss of four wickets. Patidar notched 112 runs off 54 balls with 12 fours and seven sixes. Patidar won the Player of the Match award after RCB beat the Super Giants by 14 wickets.

Patidar recently made his Test debut for India in the second Test against the Ben Stokes-led England in Visakhapatnam.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India