A group of 16 Australians valued at almost A$18 million are set to take the Indian Premier League by storm when the lucrative cricket franchise starts again on Saturday (AEST).
Some enter the competition with the burden of justifying hefty price tags weighing on their shoulders, others have a point to prove after being snapped up at comparatively dirt cheap prices.
Meanwhile, the T20 World Cup, being held in India from October, is just on the horizon.
There could be no better audition for selection than this year’s IPL.
These are the 16 Australians participating in the IPL, including the five players to look out for.
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EVERY AUSSIE IN THE IPL
Prices converted to AUD at time of purchase
Pat Cummins: $3.16m (Kolkata Knight Riders)*
Glenn Maxwell: A$2.52 million (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Jhye Richardson: A$2.48 million (Punjab Kings)
David Warner: $2.3m (Sunrisers Hyderabad)*
Riley Meredith: A$1.42 million (Punjab Kings)
Marcus Stoinis: $980,000 (Delhi Capitals)*
Nathan Coulter-Nile: A$886,000 (Mumbai Indians)
Dan Christian: A$851,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Kane Richardson: A$816,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Moises Henriques: A$745,000 (Punjab Kings)
Chris Lynn: $408,000 (Mumbai Indians)*
Steve Smith: A$390,000 (Delhi Capitals)
Adam Zampa: $287,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)*
Andrew Tye: $204,000 (Rajasthan Royals)*
Ben Cutting: A$133,000 (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Daniel Sams: $38,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
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FIVE AUSSIES TO LOOK OUT FOR
If $390,000 has ever sounded cheap, it was this year’s IPL auction.
Ricky Ponting couldn’t believe his luck when he snapped up Smith uncontested for the bargain basement price.
Granted Smith’s strongest format is Test cricket, he’s certainly no slouch in the game’s shortest version.
He’ll be looking to make fools out of the rest of the competition — particularly Rajasthan Royals, who released him — for allowing him to go so cheaply.
Conversely, Maxwell has yet another eye-watering price tag to try and justify this season.
At yet another club after stints with Delhi, Mumbai and Kings XI Punjab, the pressure is on Maxwell to shine at Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore, who forked out $2.52 million at the auction.
Recent history isn’t on the side of Maxwell, who averaged just 15.42 last season and had a strike rate of 101.88.
But you can’t keep a player of Maxwell’s T20 prowess down for long — or at least that’s what RCB has been willing to bet on.
Kings XI Punjab shocked everyone when it made Richardson an overnight millionaire with a stunning A$2.48 million bid at the auction.
The method to the madness was that the left-armer seamer was dominating the BBL at the time, taking a league-leading 29 wickets at 16.31 for the Perth Scorchers.
Kings XI will desperately hope that form translates to the subcontinent, otherwise plenty of questions will be asked.
How Richardson copes with the spotlight will play a key role in the development of the 24-year-old, who was quiet in Australia’s tour of New Zealand in the weeks after the IPL auction.
Similarly surprising was the purchase of Meredith, who fulfilled Kings XI’s fetish for Australian seamers at the auction.
He became the most expensive uncapped player in IPL history when he was bought for $1.42 million.
Unlike Richardson, Meredith wasn’t dominating the BBL at the time, although he did have a strong season with 16 wickets at 24.62.
Meredith made his T20I debut for Australia in March but is no certainty to be picked in its T20 World Cup squad later this year.
Luckily for the 24-year-old, he should get a chance during the IPL to try and prove why leaving him out would be a mistake.
The veteran hasn’t played for Australia in any format since 2019 but will hope to use the IPL as a chance to springboard himself back into the green and gold before it gets too late.
Coulter-Nile was worth $886,000 to the Mumbai Indians after taking 11 wickets at a strong average of 15.63 in the BBL season.
Australia has moved in the direction of other fast-bowling all-rounders — such as Daniel Sams and Sean Abbott — but Coulter-Nile has experience on his side having played 14 times against India in India, taking 21 T20I wickets at 28.95.
A strong performance at the IPL this year could make selectors think twice about leaving him home come World Cup time.
HOW TO WATCH
You can watch every match of the 2021 IPL live and on-demand on Kayo, or FOX CRICKET 501
Tap here for all the fixtures
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Narayan Jagadeesabn, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M.Harisankar Reddy, K.Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth, R Sai Kishore.
Head coach: Stephen Fleming.
Rishabh Pant (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Pravin Dubey, Vishnu Vinod.
Head coach: Ricky Ponting
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer.
Head coach: Brendon McCullum
Rohit Sharma (c), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neeshan, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
Head coach: Mahela Jayawardene
KL Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar.
Head coach: Anil Kumble.
Sanju Samson (c), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, K.C. Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kane Richardson, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat, Finn Allen.
Head coach: Simon Katich
David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, Jason Holder, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Yadav, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Jason Roy.
Head coach: Trevor Bayliss
2008: Rajasthan Royals
2009: Deccan Chargers
2010: Chennai Super Kings
2011: Chennai Super Kings
2012: Kolkata Knight Riders
2013: Mumbai Indians
2014: Kolkata Knight Riders
2015: Mumbai Indians
2016: Sunrisers Hyrderabad
2017: Mumbai Indians
2018: Chennai Super Kings
2019: Mumbai Indians
2020: Mumbai Indians
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