IPL 2021: Punjab Kings sign Australia pacer Nathan Ellis for second leg – Reports

Nathan Ellis

Punjab Kings (PBKS) have signed the Australia pacer Nathan Ellis for the upcoming second leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The remaining 31 matches of the season are set to be played from September 19 in the UAE. Things have changed positively for Ellis over the course of 24-48 hours as he was also named as the travelling reserve in Australia’s World Cup squad only a couple of days ago.

He made his international debut during the Bangladesh tour where Australia lost the five-match T20I series by 4-1. In the two matches he played, the pace bowler managed to pick up five wickets including a sensational hat-trick in his very first game. Ellis has impressed previously as well in the Big Bash League (BBL) featuring for Hobart Hurricanes.

Meanwhile, Nathan Ellis’s signing comes after Punjab Kings were made aware that Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have been ruled out of the IPL. The two pacers are not fit and the franchise came to know about their status only after the press conference from the Australian cricket board. The franchise, meanwhile, will also sign another replacement soon.

“We were not aware of the fitness status of Jhye and Riley until yesterday (August 18). That they cannot be part of the IPL was known only after the Cricket Australia press conference. We have signed Ellis as a replacement player. We will announce the second replacement in a day or two. We are in talks with a few players. Anil (Kumble, the head coach) will finalise one soon,” Punjab Kings’ CEO Satish Menon said while speaking to Cricbuzz.

Punjab Kings struggling after first leg

As far as Punjab Kings are concerned, they were struggling when the IPL had to be suspended abruptly after 29 matches due to COVID cases inside the bubble. After playing eight matches, they could win only three matches and lost five. Though KL Rahul showed great form again at the top of the order, the team, as a whole, didn’t perform consistently.

They will be hoping to turn things around in the second leg and it will be interesting to see if the Rahul-led side steps up to defy all the odds in the remaining six matches to make it to the playoffs.