Rising Pune Supergiants select Australian in-form batsman Usman Khawaja, who ended up being the highest run-getter for Australia in the ICC World in IPL edition 6.
Fleming said in a statement.
One of our mainstays Du Plessis has injured his finger during the last match and has returned to South Africa for further treatment. We wish him speedy recovery.
We are glad to have roped in Khawaja in the team. His presence will be an advantage to the team and could be pivotal in bolstering the position of the side in the tournament.
Khawaja has played a productive season, with prolonged success across formats. In just four games, the left-hander managed to score 109*, 62, 104 and 70 in four matches and his average was 172.5 as Sydney Thunder won their maiden Big Bash League title earlier this year.
He was then rewarded for his consistent performances with a name in World T20 squad, a tournament in which he ended as the top run-scorer for Australia.
Pakistan-born, who went unsold in February’s IPL player auction, now joins fellow Australians Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Adam Zampa in the Supergiants squad.
The stylish left-hand batsman is likely to partner Ajinkya Rahane at the top of Pune’s batting order.
In an interview on his selection Khawaja Said:
I’m not the kind of guy that needs to hit a lot of balls to feel good, I hit a few balls today, I’ll hit a few balls again, and I’ll be ready to go.
Even during the season I don’t hit a lot of balls. At training, I’m usually out (of the Nets) pretty quick. I do all my bulk training out of season. I didn’t feel too much different. That’s a good thing – I was still whacking them, I still felt good. I’m pretty confident (of performing immediately). At the end of the day you’ve just got to watch the ball.
Du Plessis was ruled out of the remainder part of IPL after sustaining a broken finger. The South African batting mainstay was Pune’s second-highest run-getter for the debutant side with 206 runs at 34.33, including two half-centuries in losing causes.
His injury also makes him doubtful for the triangular One-Day International (ODI) series that features Australia and hosts West Indies aside from South Africa starting June.