New Zealand’s Finn Allen will feature in his first IPL in 2021 after receiving the call from RCB to take the place of Josh Philippe. The young Australian batsman pulled out of the 2021 IPL after spending months on end in a bubble environment.
It has been some week for the top-order batsman who has also received his maiden New Zealand call-up to feature in the T20I series against Bangladesh. He will join the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the conclusion of that series.
At the age of just 21, Allen has made his mark on the local T20 cricket scene. He topped the run scoring charts during the 2020/21 Super Smash season, scoring a total of 512 runs. He also hit the most sixes (25) during the tournament for the Wellington Firebirds.
With the T20I Cricket World Cup later this year, Allen will be keen to make an impression on the national selectors. The World Cup will take place in India so the IPL offers the perfect opportunity to show that he can deal with the sub-continent conditions ahead of the showpiece event.
While the RCB’s choice to replace Philippe with Allen has startled some experts, it is more than just a shot in the dark. Allen has yet to prove himself on the big stage, not many have at 21. But the big hitting right-hander has all the trademarks of a very good player according to Australian cricket betting site Bets.com.au.
He will certainly face sterner opposition in the IPL compared to the Super Smash back home. That is not to say the Super Smash lacks quality, but the IPL is a completely different level.
Conditions will be foreign to Allen, as will the bubble environment. Playing in New Zealand where the pandemic is largely under control means that like his fellow countrymen, he has yet to taste life inside a bubble for an extended period of time.
But the Auckland-born batsman has much in his favour. He has nothing to lose and the RCB desperately need someone with fresh energy to revitalise the place after years of struggles. Allen comes into the IPL with a T20 average of 48.81 in 13 matches.
Perhaps his biggest selling point was his extraordinary strike rate. Over his 13 T20 matches, Allen has a strike rate of 183.27 while his 2020/21 Super Smash strike rate exceeded that to an incredible 193.94.
There will be a number of challenges along the way with Allen and his first test will be to see how he handles spin in India. It may have been a forced change to their squad, but the RCB may have just picked up a star that can make a real difference to their quest for the IPL title.
Some patience will be required with Allen, and he will have to learn fast once he arrives in India, but the board and fans alike may just witness the emergence of a future world star in New Zealand’s Finn Allen.