Royal Challengers Bangalore have signed New Zealand’s big-hitting opener Finn Allen as a replacement for Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe for Indian Premier League 2021. Philippe, who made his debut for RCB in IPL 2020 in the UAE, will be unavailable for the whole of the upcoming season, starting April 9 in Chennai.
Josh Philippe, who was bought at his base price of Rs 20 lakh, played five games and scored 78 runs for the Virat Kohli-led franchise. He was among the players who were retained for IPL 2021 by RCB, who made the play-offs in IPL 2020 in the UAE.
“Finn had a base price of INR 20L equivalent to that of Josh Philippe. It will be Finn’s debut IPL season this year when he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore,” an IPL release said.
Notably, Finn Allen, a wicketkeeper-batsman, is yet to make his international debut for New Zealand but the 21-year-old is establishing himself as one of the names to watch out for. Allen has played 12 first-class, 20 Lista A and 12 T20s in his nascent career. His strike rate in the shortest format of the game is a staggering 183.27.
As recently as February 28, Allen had smashed 128 off just 59 balls for Wellington against Otago in the domestic 50-over competition. In the Super Smash T20 tournament earlier this year, Allen topped the batting charts, scoring 512 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 193.33.
RCB begin their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai in the IPL 2021 opener on February 9.
RCB squad for IPL 2021
Retained players: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Md. Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Joshua Phillipe (not available), Pavan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson
Players bought at Auction: Glenn Maxwell (Rs 14.25 crore), Sachin Baby (Rs 20 lakh), Rajat Patidar (Rs 20 lakh), Mohammed Azharrudeen (Rs 20 lakh), Kyle Jamieson (Rs 15 crore), Daniel Christian (Rs 4.8 crore), KS Bharat (Rs 20 lakh), Suyash Prabhudesai (Rs 20 lakh)
Players signed after auction: Finn Allen.