Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is one of the leading wickets for the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). The Sri Lankan bowler is in a tough fight with franchise icon Yuzvendra Chahal at the top of the many wickets.
Spin bowling coach Sridharan Sriram outlines Hasaranga’s impact on the game so far. He praised the 24-year-old for battling his pressure and expectations after being a direct replacement for Yuzvendra Chahal.
Hasalanga, who briefly played for the franchise in the second leg of IPL 2021, was wooed for Rs 10.75 crore at the mega auction. Meanwhile, the unreserved Chahal was sold to Rajasthan Royals (RR).
Sriram said on RCB Bold Diaries that it will not be easy to replace a player like Chahal at RCB:
“The way he handled the expectations that were placed on him, it was no easy task to replace Yuzvendra Chahal at RCB. He came here with incredible expectations and everyone knows what Tamiko has done for the team to fill his place. And to finish second is fantastic.”
The coach added:
“All credit to him because the way he handled the pressure and expectations of the Indian public and some of the criticism he had to deal with and the way he bounced back every time was an incredible testament to his temperament.”
After eight years with RCB, Chahal developed into the team’s leading wicketkeeper. His performances in the IPL also earned him a call-up to the national team, where he cemented his place in limited matches. The 31-year-old is one of the game’s all-time leading wickets with 162 wickets in 126 overs, which showcases the legacy he has created with RCB.
“It’s hard to replace one of the greatest players in our history, Yuzi is an icon for RCB” – Mike Hesson on Wanindu Hasaranga’s tough task at hand
Sri Lankan spinners struggled at the start of the ongoing race. He’s not in the wicket and the economy rate is also an issue. However, as the game progressed, the pitch became drier, which suited his bowling style. He has recently surged on wickets and finished second in the purple caps.
Referring to Yuzvendra Chahal as a franchise icon, Hesson believes Hasaranga has started on the right foot. RCB Cricket Operations Director said:
“Even though he didn’t get a ton of wickets at the start, he got the bigs out, he got the guys who were already established and he did a really good job for us. It’s hard to replace the greatest man in our history. One, Yuzi is an icon of RCB. A lot of people are wondering, who is this Wanindu Hasaranga? But as the game went on, they found out that he is a great cricketer.”
The Sri Lankan spinners have won by 21 wickets with an economy of 7.85 in 12 overs. He’ll play a big role in RCB’s third straight playoff game. The three-time finalists will face Punjab Kings (PBKS) and Gujarat Titans (GT) in the remaining league stage matches.