Rising Pune Supergiants, who lost Kevin Pietersen and Faf du Plessis to injuries, have replaced the flamboyant Englishman with Australian Usman Khawaja. Khawaja, who was in electric form for Australia at the World T20, will participate in the Indian Premier League for the first time ever.
“Rising Pune Supergiants, owned by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group, announced today the signing of left-handed top order batsman Usman Khawaja to the squad. The star player, who plays as an opener for Australia, has been a successful opener in the T20 format as he loves to play his shots all around the ground during the power play,” a press release from the franchise said.
“One of our mainstays Faf du Plessis has injured his finger during the course of the last match and has returned to South Africa for further treatment. We wish him speedy recovery. We are glad to have roped in Usman Khawaja in the team. His presence will definitely be an advantage to the team and could be pivotal in bolstering the position of the side in the tournament. His imperious form for the Sydney Thunders in the Big Bash League victory last season and being the leading run-scorer for Australia, for the recently-concluded World T20, has made us sit up and notice. His style of play is perfect for the T20 format,“ said Stephen Fleming, the coach of Rising Pune Supergiants.
Dhoni's team are seventh in the table and have won just two of their six matches. Pune next face Gujarat Lions in their next match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium on April 29.