South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen replaces Steve Smith in IPL 2018

Updated on: Apr 2, 2018 3:42 pm IST

Heinrich Klaasen

Rajasthan Royals have roped in Proteas batsman Heinrich Klaasen as replacement of Steve Smith, Rajasthan’s head of cricket Zubin Bharucha said.

“We aim to buy someone who can tackle the spinners well, as spinners have a great role to play in the Indian Premier League,” Bharucha earlier told TOI in an interview.

Zubin Bharucha sent the request for the South African to the BCCI and the BCCI affirmed.

“Klaasen is an amazing player. His way of playing tempted us to go for him. He is capable of playing reverse sweeps as well, that will also be quite useful in the IPL,” he added.

Bharucha also praised the wicket-keeper batsman for handling the spins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal well in the South Africa series.

Also Read: Kane Williamson to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018

“His strategy against them was quite impressive.”

However, Klaasen was not a part of the Proteas squad against India initially but was called to replace injured Quinton de Kock.

Although the squad of Rajasthan already have efficient wicketkeepers, Sanju Samson and Jos Butler, Klassen would be a great choice.

Barucha also said that they also considered Hashim Amla and Joe Root to replace Smith, but they wanted to go for a player with entirely different style.

“Steve Smith will be back in our squad next year and we do not want to end up with two similar players. We are looking forward to building a team keeping three years in mind. Klaasen would be useful for us even after Smith’s return.”

The 27-year old would cost them Rs. 50 lakhs, his base price. Interestingly, Klaasen wasn’t part of the initial 578 in the auctions, but he was called up in the extended list.

“We have made some of our strategies keeping Klaasen in mind, ” he said.

Klaasen earned a lot of appreciation after playing a match-winning knock against India which also left Twitteratis press for Klaasen in the eleventh edition of the IPL.

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