IPL 2018: Heinrich Klaasen recruited by Rajasthan Royals
After days of anticipation, Rajasthan Royals have named South Africa's Heinrich Klaasen as the newest member of their squad. The wicket-keeper batsman comes in place of Steve Smith, who will miss IPL 11 after being banned by BCCI for his role in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa. Klaasen had impressed everyone with his breathtaking performances against India in the ODI and T20I series.
Stat box- Heinrich Klaasen
The 26-year-old has played just four ODIs and three T20Is for SA, after coming in for Quinton de Kock against India. He has played 49 T20s and has 1,043 runs with his best score of 77*. He has also played 63 first class games.
What does Klaasen bring to the Royals team?
An attacker and a genuine match-winner, Klaasen comes as a viable option for Rajasthan. He is comfortable against spin and can add the firepower in the middle-order. With him in the side, Jos Buttler could be used as a fielder rather than a wicket-keeper. He was excellent against India in the 2nd T20I, where he smashed a 30-ball 69 run-knock.
Filling Smith's shoes a tough ask
Replacing Smith will be a huge test for Klaasen. He hasn't played in IPL and this is his first visit to India. Smith is a classy run-scorer and had scored 472 runs in IPL 2017. Untested Klaasen needs to score heavily to prove his worth