Kolkata: Glenn Phillips, the New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman who has been drafted in by Rajasthan Royals as a replacement for Jos Buttler, is very much his own man. Set to make his debut in world’s biggest franchise league in the UAE, Phillips will be carrying a good form with the bat from the Caribbean Premier League where he scored an aggregate of 254 runs for Barbados Royals.
While saying that he’s “a completely different player” to the Englishman, the Kiwi said: “The team has brought me in to do whatever role they need me to play, so it’s not really like I’m filling in Jos’ shoes, I’m probably filling in my own shoes and looking to create a legacy of my own rather than being a replacement.”
Asked about his excitement of playing in the IPL, the 24-year-old said from St Kitts that he wanted to experience the tournament in India sometime in the future. “I’m really looking forward to being a part of a new team and just getting amongst so many experienced players and talking to them and trying to pick their brains. It would be awesome to be part of that full IPL atmosphere in India, but with the IPL taking place in the UAE - it’s the next best thing – and it’s my first IPL season so I’m not going to complain and will take whatever I can get,” he said, adding that the conditions in the UAE will help in preparing for the T20 World Cup.
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“I’ve played in the UAE before and I think from a pitch and turn perspective, I would probably say that the Caribbean pitches are slower and turn more. I’m actually relishing coming over to the UAE as the pitches will be a bit quicker compared to what I’ve been playing on currently, so that will be a nice change.”
Speaking to Rajasthan Royals, he said: “After I joined, captain Sanju Samson had sent a text welcoming me to the Royals so that was good to see. I had subsequent chats with Kumar Sangakkara (Director of Cricket) but that was more of a general catch-up because I’ve played with him before at the (Jamaica) Tallawahs,” added the 24-year-old.
Commenting on what the Royals fans can expect from him, the explosive batsman said: “I feel like I have the ability to control the pace of the game depending on what the situation is like regardless of the position I’m batting at. So if you lose wickets, I feel like I have the batsmanship to be able to take the game deep and then accelerate at the end. Having power in my game does allow me to take it deep till the end and catch up. I can give the team a fast start as well, but also play the longer innings.”
Reflecting on Royals’ chances this season, Phillips observed: “From the perspective of our position on the table, being in the fifth spot is a nice little position at the moment because couple of wins from here and we’ll be well on our way to qualifying.”