Shams Mulani, the Mumbai left-arm-fingerspin-bowling allrounder, has been signed by the Delhi Capitals as a temporary like-for-like replacement for Axar Patel. The Capitals have also brought in Aniruddha Joshi as a replacement for their regular captain Shreyas Iyer, who has been sidelined from the entire season.
Patel had tested positive for Covid-19 on April 3, six days before the start of IPL 2021. He had checked into the team hotel in Mumbai on March 28 after arriving with a negative Covid-19 report, but then returned a positive test and was subsequently placed in isolation at a designated medical facility. Meanwhile, a delay in getting the result of his Covid-19 tests has ruled Anrich Nortje out of the Delhi Capitals' IPL game against the Rajasthan Royals in Mumbai on Thursday.
Mulani, 24, has played 25 T20 games so far, to go with 30 List A matches, but hasn't played in the IPL before. Recently, he had played a crucial hand in Mumbai's run to the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy title in March. He picked up nine wickets in six matches at an economy rate of 5.15 in addition to scoring 91 runs in three innings at an average of 30.33 and strike rate of just under 75.
After batting at No.8 in his first outing with the bat in this Vijay Hazare Trophy, he took on the role of a pinch-hitting No.4 in the knockouts. He first scored 45 off 71 balls against Karnataka in the semi-finals and then pitched in with a more fluent 36 off 43 balls in the final against Uttar Pradesh.
In the 20-over Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this year, Mulani was Mumbai's highest wicket-taker, with four strikes in three matches, in an otherwise disappointing campaign for the side. Mulani will now reunite with his Mumbai captain Prithvi Shaw at the Capitals.
As for Anirudhha, the nephew of former India spinner Sunil Joshi, he has been part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals in the past. The 33-year-old Karnataka allrounder has played 22 T20s so far, scoring 420 runs and taking six wickets.