There are high chances that Usman Khawaja will join the Rising Pune Supergiants squad before their derby against the Mumbai Indians on May 1. Khawaja went unsold at the IPL auction in February this year. However, he has now been picked up by the RPS franchise as a replacement to Kevin Pietersen who was ruled out of the tournament with an injury last week.
For RPS, which faced their fourth straight defeat in the tournament on Sunday against the Kolkata Knight Riders but won against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday, and Khawaja’s addition to the squad will provide them the much-needed firepower at the top of the order.
As mentioned in The Telegraph on Tuesday, Brisbane-based Khawaja would apply for his India Visa on Monday itself, but the ANZAC Day holiday came in the way. April 25 is a day for remembrance both in Australia and in New Zealand for all who have laid their lives in full-fledged wars and smaller conflicts. Khawaja will apply for his India visa on Tuesday.
“As things stand, Khawaja won’t be available for the next two matches (Tuesday, Friday). Hopefully, he will be with us before the May 1 game against the Mumbai Indians,” a member of the Rising Pune team management told The Telegraph.
RPS are set to play an away match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday. However, the next two games against the Gujarat Lions and Mumbai Indians will be home games. The Maharashtra Derby on May 1 will be the last game in Maharashtra in this season of IPL which would change only f the Supreme Court intervenes.
RPS will be hoping for similar performances from Usman Khawaja as he did for the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League 2015-16 scoring 345 runs in 4 matches at an average of 172.50 which included 2 tons and 2 half-centuries. RPS are now languishing at the bottom of the points table just above Kings XI Punjab in terms of net run rate.