Rajasthan Royals ropes in Evin Lewis and Oshane Thomas as replacement for Buttler and Stokes

The Rajasthan Royals have signed West Indies opener Evin Lewis and fast bowler Oshane Thomas as replacements for Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes for the IPL 2021 second leg, which will take place in the UAE from September 19 to October 15. Lewis has 1318 runs in T20Is, including 103 sixes, and is the fifth-highest run scorer for the West Indies. In T20I cricket, only Chris Gayle (121) has hit more sixes for the West Indies. Lewis is currently playing for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the ongoing CPL 2021 at Warner Park.

Lewis will be making his first appearance with the Royals and his second in the IPL, having previously played for the Mumbai Indians in 2018 and 2019.

Thomas will be playing in his second IPL season with the Royals; he appeared in four games for the team in 2019, taking five wickets at an economy rate of 7.90. Thomas will join the Rajasthan Royals for the second half of the IPL after playing for the Barbados Royals in the CPL. Glenn Phillips of New Zealand was named as a possible successor for Jofra Archer earlier this month.

Buttler has decided to skip the tournament as he awaits the birth of his second child, while Stokes has taken a mental health leave. Stokes announced his departure in July, while Buttler played in the first three Tests against India but will now miss the fourth to be with his wife.

Tabraiz Shamsi, a South African legspinner and World No. 1 T20I bowler, was brought in to replace Andrew Tye, while Glenn Phillips was brought in to replace Jofra Archer. With three victories from seven games, the Royals are in fifth place on the rankings.