Bowlers who can replace Tom Curran in the RCB squad for IPL 2024
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) roped in Tom Curran at his base price of INR 1.5 crore in the IPL 2024 auction to bolster the middle and death overs bowling. Curran has found a new lease in his bowling career, becoming more consistent with his yorkers and variations.
However, the English all-rounder sustained a knee injury during his stint with Sydney Sixers in Big Bash League 2023/24. Curran missed the remaining BBL season, hasn’t featured in International League T20 and will miss the Pakistan Super League because of the same injury.
While there is no confirmation, Tom Curran might also miss the Indian Premier League, leaving RCB’s bowling unit vulnerable. The Bangalore-based franchise will require a new player to replace an injured Curran for the upcoming season.
We look at five possible replacements for Tom Curran in IPL 2024.
Shamar Joseph (West Indies)
The latest pace sensation, Shamar Joseph, is the front-runner to replace Tom Curran in the RCB setup for the upcoming season. A few reports suggest the franchise is already in talks with the West Indian player.
Joseph starred for the West Indies in the recently concluded two-match Test series, grabbing 13 wickets at an average of 17.31. The 24-year-old also took two five-wicket hauls, including a famous one at the Gabba.
Shamar has pace and generates excessive bounce by landing his balls into the wicket to hurry the batters. Such bowlers are essential for middle and death overs, especially on short ground like Chinnaswamy.
James Neesham (New Zealand)
James Neesham seems an ideal replacement for Tom Curran, for he offers the same as Curran. Neesham’s batting has improved massively, and he hits boundaries consistently, especially against the pacers.
Further, he also provides some bowling value if used wisely. While Neesham might not be a death specialist, his precise use during inactive phases can be handy.
Since 2023, James Neesham has had a strike rate of 136.08, taking 5.82 balls for every boundary in T20s. The short boundaries will increase his batting value in home games, while his bowling will be threatening on slow and sluggish decks away from home.
Jason Holder (West Indies)
While Jason Holder’s stocks have fallen in IPL, he can still be a decent pick for sides looking for a pace all-rounder. Holder is a globetrotter with a wealth of experience and has worked on his game to become an even better version.
Like Neesham, RCB should be precise with Holder’s usage to extract the best out of him. He can provide powerplay and middle overs bowling while some lower-order hitting with the willow.
Holder’s bowling can be costly in Chinnaswamy, but he should be mighty effective on the decks like Chennai and Lucknow, where the ball grips and stops on the surface. The West Indian all-rounder can be a like-for-like replacement for Tom Curran.
Jamie Overton (England)
For some reason, Jamie Overton seems a perfect replacement for Tom Curran. Overton has gradually established himself as a quality pace-bowling all-rounder with ample value in both departments.
Overton has the pace and bowls hard lengths to agitate the batters in middle and death overs. His batting is on the rise, and he can provide lower-order hitting since Overton has the power to clear the ropes.
He has had numerous stints in franchise cricket, and his recent form has been top-notch, especially with the ball. Signing Overton might be a top move, considering his outings lately and the balance he provides to the unit.
Kwena Maphaka (South Africa)
Kwena Maphaka has been the most promising star in the ongoing U-19 World Cup. The 17-year-old grabbed the headlines after his fiery spell against West Indies U-19 on the opening day, and he hasn’t stopped since then.
Kwena has 12 wickets at 12.58 runs apiece in four outings, including two five-wicket hauls. While Maphaka’s best value lies with the new ball, he has shown ample control over his yorkers, making him a decent death-overs option.
Maphaka is still young and has a long way to go, but RCB can recruit him as a long-term investment. Reece Topley is injury-prone, and Maphaka can be his ideal backup, as he provides identical value.
Lance Morris (Australia)
After the IPL 2024 auction, Royal Challengers Bangalore re-formed their bowling unit, releasing as many as three premium bowlers. While they bought decent options, the bowling looks thin and vulnerable, especially for the home games.
To bolster their bowling unit, RCB can try Lance Morris, who has bowled amazingly well lately. He has pace and can cramp the batters with his hard lengths, making him an ideal enforcer, and RCB need such a bowler in their lineup.
Morris can release the pressure from Reece Topley and Mohammed Siraj by sharing the workload in the middle overs. Morris’ presence will help these two bowlers to operate in their best phases - powerplay and death overs.