The Royals will be without Jofra Archer and Jos Buttler for the second half of this IPL, while Ben Stokes' availability still remains uncertain after the allrounder took a break from cricket for mental-health reasons. They will also be without Andrew Tye, who has pulled out of the remainder of the season.
With Shamsi and Phillips, the other overseas players remaining in the Royals' roster are David Miller, Chris Morris, Liam Livingstone and Mustafizur Rahman. They had young South African quick Gerald Coetzee in the squad for the first half as a replacement for Livingstone, but with Livingstone expected to be available for the second half, Coetzee will no longer be with Royals. That leaves Royals with six overseas players, potentially seven if Stokes returns, and leaves them with one more overseas spot still available to be filled.
This will be Shamsi's second stint in the IPL. He had played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2016, again as a replacement player, and taken three wickets in four games at an economy rate of 9.18. Overall, Shamsi has played 163 T20 games, taking 183 wickets at an average of 22.42 and an economy rate of 7.18. In the recently concluded Hundred, he took seven wickets in six games for Oval Invincibles, at an economy rate of 8.71. He will join a strong wrist-spin contingent in the Royals squad that includes legspinners Shreyas Gopal, Mayank Markande and Rahul Tewatia, alongside Riyan Parag. They also have the mystery spin of KC Cariappa to call on.
They also have several fast-bowling options despite Tye pulling out, with Morris and Mustafizur complemented by the Indian contingent of Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Kartik Tyagi, Akash Singh and Kuldip Yadav.
Tye said being away from home for long periods and not making it to Australia's T20 World Cup squad were the factors behind his withdrawal.
"It is with great regret that I have to pull out of the remainder of the IPL 2021 with the Rajasthan Royals," Tye said in a statement released by the franchise. "In the last year I have had just 10 weeks out of bio-secure bubbles and hubs, including 10 weeks spent doing five hotel quarantine stints. Having put everything into doing all I can to force my way into the World Cup squad, it's now time for a rest. Therefore, I've had to make the tough decision to stay home, to prepare myself mentally and physically for another big year. I'd like to thank Rajasthan for their full support through what's been a difficult year for many people."
George Garton to RCB
Royal Challengers have completed their set of overseas players with the signing of George Garton, the Sussex left-arm quick bowler who can also bat a bit. Garton will replace Australia's Kane Richardson, who had withdrawn. For Garton, 24, this will be his first IPL season.
Garton has played 38 T20 matches, taking 44 wickets at 20.06, with an economy rate of 8.26 so far. He has a batting average of 20.77 in the format, at a strike rate of 124.66. In the Hundred, playing for Southern Brave, Garton took ten wickets from nine games at an average of 23.00 at an economy rate of 8.90.
Sussex confirmed that Garton would join Royal Challengers after the Sussex Sharks' appearance at the Vitality Blast Finals Day on September 18. The Royal Challengers' first game in the second half of the IPL is on September 20, against Kolkata Knight Riders.