Who are the Aussies to watch in the IPL?

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Of those 590 in the IPL mega-auction in 2022, a whopping 228 are capped players, while Australians make up the greatest overseas portion with 47 enlisted cricketers.

The cynosure of all the Aussies was the Singapore-born recent sensation and great finisher batter Tim David, who got a whopping Rs.8.5 crore from the Mumbai Indians.

The Aussies’ Test captain Pat Cummins was bought by the Kolkata Knight Riders, his erstwhile franchise. Although he was sold for Rs.7.25, half of his price enjoyed in the past two years.

Josh Hazlewood, the tall and lanky pacer who was instrumental in winning the title by Chennai in the 2021 IPL and the Aussies in T20 World Cup in 2021, fetched Rs.7.75 crore with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, a different franchise this time.

Mitchell Marsh, the player of the match in the recent T20 World Cup final recently, was bought for Rs.6.5 crore by a different franchise, the Delhi Capitals.

Mitchell Marsh

(Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

And his fellow Aussie, the flamboyant opener David Warner, who was the player of the tournament in the T20 World Cup in 2021, and who had a turbulent year with his previous franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad, found another franchise – the Delhi Capitals – for Rs.6.25 crores.

The southpaw Matthew Wade stole the show in the semi-final of the T20 World Cup in 2021 against Pakistan with his hard hitting. That included a hat trick of sixes against the left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi and shattering the dream of the fancied Pakistan side.

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Wade was picked up by the new franchise of the 2022 IPL, the Gujarat Titans, for Rs.2.4 crores on the second day.

It is unfortunate that players like Aaron Finch, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa and Ashton Agar went unsold.

Marcus Stoinis (Lucknow) and Glenn Maxwell (Bangalore) were two of the 27 players retained by their respective clubs.

Daniel Sams was sold at 2.6 crore/260 lakh to the Mumbai Indians. Jason Behrendorff was sold at 75 lakh to Bangalore. Sean Abbott was sold at 2.4 crore to Hyderabad.

The Aussies are the most sought after in the IPL. The Australian odyssey in the IPL started way back in 2008.

Picture this. After a tumultuous win in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 held in South Africa, and to thwart the growth of the rebel league, the ICL, the BCCI started the Indian Premier League, a franchise-based league format tournament in 2008.

It was the brainchild of Lalit Modi, then vice-president of the BCCI.

In the inaugural edition in 2008, the dark horse, the Rajasthan Royals, led by the Aussie spin wizard Shane Warne, upset the much fancied Chennai Super Kings team led by MS Dhoni, the emerging leader of Indian cricket, in the final held in Mumbai.

There were useful contributions from other players in thir ranks, including another Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson.

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In the second edition of the IPL in 2009 held in South Africa, the Deccan Chargers team led by another Aussie legend stumper, Adam Gilchrist, won the title, pipping the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the post by six runs.

In 2010 and 2011 editions, the opening Aussie batter Matthew Hayden and middle-order batter Mike Hussey – a great finisher known as ‘Mr Cricket’ – beat Chennai, led by MS Dhoni, to win consecutive IPL titles.

In 2014, Kings XI Punjab, led by the ever-smiling George Bailey (the present selection committee chairman of the Australian team) in a fine tussle in the final. That was lost to Gautam Gambir’s Kolkata Knight Riders in the final over.

Gautam Gambhir

(Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images)

In 2016, the Hyderabad team changed hands with a new franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad. They were led by the southpaw dashing Aussie opener David Warner, who led from the front with his batting (he was the orange cap winner) against Virat Kohli’s Bangalore again by a whisker (eight runs).

In 2017, a new franchise team, Rising Pune Super Giants, led by Australian Steve Smith, lost a tense final to the Mumbai Indians just by a solitary run.

Of course it was the uncanny Aussie bowler, Mitchell Johnson, who held his nerve in the final over and won it for the Mumbai Indians.

In 2018, after two years in hibernation due to a ban, the Chennai team rode into the finals with a lot confidence and the hero of the day was none other than the mercurial Aussie all-rounder Shane Watson. He single-handedly won the battle in the final with a fine century and he won the title for Chennai for the third time.

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Besides the above Aussie players and their predominant roles in winning IPL titles, lots of Aussies have had the role of head coach or assistant.

Australian coaches include Steve Rixon in Chennai in 2010 and 2011, Tom Moody in Hyderabad in 2016 and Ricky Ponting in 2020 at the Delhi Capitals, who for the first time made it to the finals.

When we think of Australian players in the IPL, our mind probably goes to the likes of David Warner and Shane Watson, who have been securing deals and smashing centuries for years now.

Going back in time, you could think of Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist, who lit up the competition even in the twilight of their playing careers.

But there are some other Australians who made it to the Australian national teams because of their success first in the IPL.

They first played in the IPL and upon their performances in the IPL, they got into their national teams. Those are players like Aaron Finch (the present captain in shorter formats), Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh.

The Australian players’ contribution in the cogwheel of the IPL is highly commendable.



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