Punjab Kings have replaced Dawid Malan with South African opening batsman Aiden Markram for the second phase of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League.
Malan, the no.1 T20I batsman in the ICC T20 rankings, has pulled out of the IPL as he wants to spend time with his family before the T20 World Cup and the Ashes.
The southpaw showed good form in the Test series against India and played a crucial knock of 70 runs in the first innings of the Leeds Test. Meanwhile, Malan played a solitary match in the first phase of the IPL 2021 against Delhi Capitals and scored run-a-ball 26.
The franchise wrote in a statement on Twitter: “𝘼𝙞-𝙙𝙚𝙣 vich tuhadda swaagat hai! Welcoming our newest [Lion] Aiden Markram who will replace Dawid Malan for the remainder of the season!”
On the other hand, Aiden Markram has impressed while playing for the Proteas. The right-hander scored 113 runs in the three-match T20I series against West Indies and finished as the third-highest run-getter of the series.
The right-hander also scored 119 runs in three ODIs against Sri Lanka. Thus, the South African opener is in good form with the bat and he can contribute to the Punjab Kings side. Markram has scored 405 runs in 13 T20Is for South Africa at an average of less than 34 and a fine strike rate of 150.
Punjab Kings have top-order batsmen like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Chris Gayle and it would be interesting to note if Markram gets his opportunity.
Meanwhile, Punjab Kings are placed in sixth place in the points table with three wins from eight matches. Thus, the KL Rahul-led team will need to turn the tables in the second phase of the tournament in order to qualify for the playoff stages.