IPL: Bailey to replace du Plessis in Pune Supergiants squad

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Former Australia skipper George Bailey has been roped in by the struggling Rising Pune Supergiants as a replacement for South African Faf du Plessis, who was forced to cut short his Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign due to a broken finger.

Bailey, who earlier featured in the cash-rich league representing Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab, however, went unsold during the IPL auction in February. The right-hander, who had a base price of Rs.1 crore, scored 579 runs from 34 IPL games.

Bailey’s inclusion will bolster the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led franchise, which is currently languishing at the sixth spot in the points table, with just two wins from the eight matches they have played.

After losing ex-England big-hitter Kevin Pietersen and du Plessis, the Pune franchise were jolted after their batting mainstay and Australia skipper Steve Smith was on Monday ruled out of the tournament with a wrist injury. Earlier, the Dhoni brigade lost the services of another Aussie import in the form of Mitchell Marsh.

“Smith’s (news) been a bummer. He was just coming into his own and this happened,” the franchise’s chief executive Raghu Iyer was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.

“It is a challenging time. Before we could settle down we lost the core group of players around whom you build a team around.”

“We lost four crucial players, but we are looking ahead. Bailey has tremendous experience and had a very successful season before last. He can contribute to the leadership group,” Iyer said.

Iyer said the franchise is likely to announce Marsh’s replacement in the next two days. They have already signed Australia batsman Usman Khawaja as Pietersen’s replacement.

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