Dean Jones was well down the list of my favourite Australian batsmen of his era, but I always thought he was a fine technician, a man of considerable courage, and I was very impressed by his interview with Crash Craddock on Cricket Legends.
IPL 2020 is just over a week away, with 19 Australian cricketers set to take part in the tournament.
I’ll be looking at each player and analysing how I think they’ll perform in the 13th edition of the IPL.
Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)
Chris Lynn was bought in this edition’s auction for approximately $385,200 AUD. With the flat wickets on offer at Wankhede Stadium, it seemed to be a quality signing for Mumbai Indians. But with the IPL shifted to the UAE, it’ll be a massive test for the Queenslander to adapt on the slower surfaces.
Throughout his IPL career, Lynn has found himself exposed against spinners. Considering the Mumbai Indians are playing eight matches on slow turners at Abu Dhabi, it’ll be difficult for Lynn to get a game over Quinton De Kock.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians)
Coulter-Nile was bought in this editions auction as well, strengthening Mumbai’s pace stocks. I think it’ll be tough for NCN to get a game over the likes of Trent Boult and Mitch McCleneghan, but his lower-order hitting gives him a slight edge over the Kiwi quicks.
With Lasith Malinga ruled out of the IPL for personal reasons, Coulter-Nile may play more games than expected.
James Pattinson (Mumbai Indians)
The Victorian speedster has been brought in as Mumbai’s replacement for Lasith Malinga. I find Pattinson’s inclusion quite surprising considering how stacked Mumbai’s pace department is.
Maybe someone like Ashton Agar would’ve been a better option with the UAE wickets. I don’t see Pattinson playing many games, but his experience and knowledge will be handy for Indian youngsters Digvijay Deshmukh and Mohsin Khan to learn off.
Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings)
Watson is a quality T20 cricketer. Opening the batting, he’s given Chennai Super Kings fast starts and consistent performances over the past two seasons. Regardless of the type of wickets, Watson has done well with the bat in the IPL.
In the 2019 IPL, he didn’t bowl at all, so the big question remains – does Watson play as a batsman only or as an all-rounder this year? Because if he cannot bowl, then Chennai’s chances of winning a fourth IPL title will go lower.
Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings)
Hazlewood was part of Mumbai Indians’ 2013 IPL title-winning squad, although he didn’t play a game. Now a much more mature cricketer, the 29-year-old comes into Chennai’s team with a wealth of experience besides him.
Competing against the likes of Lungi Ngidi and Sam Curran for an overseas seamer spot in the XI, the competition will be fierce for Hazlewood to get as many games as possible.
Marcus Stoinis (Delhi Capitals)
Everyone knows Marcus Stoinis’ quality as a T20 cricketer, especially when he’s batting at the top of the order. But the Delhi Capitals have Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant and skipper Shreyas Iyer to occupy the top-order spots.
Thus the big question remains for the Western Australian all-rounder – can he flourish as a finisher or will he warm the bench? Stoinis’ IPL numbers batting at number six are brilliant despite the small sample size – six innings, 164 runs, 82.0 average and a strike rate of 147.75.
If Stoinis can do well as a finisher and his medium-pacers in the middle-overs create pressure, then he’ll have a successful IPL 2020.
Alex Carey (Delhi Capitals)
There must be something Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore head coaches Ricky Ponting and Simon Katich sees in Carey, or else there wouldn’t have been a tussle between the two sides bidding for Carey in the auction. Carey’s adaptability to bat anywhere from opener to number six makes him a great addition to the Delhi squad.
While it’ll be challenging to dislodge Rishabh Pant behind the stumps, Carey could get a few games as a batsman in the middle-order. If Carey has a successful IPL 2020, then he has every right to remain in contention for Australia T20 World Cup plans.
Daniel Sams (Delhi Capitals)
What a year Daniel Sams has had. After a fantastic 2019-20 BBL where he was the leading wicket-taker (30 wickets at15.83/economy of 7.83), Sams received his maiden Australia call-up. With Jason Roy ruled out of IPL 2020 following a side strain, Delhi didn’t hesitate to replace Roy with the Sydney Thunder seamer.
Competing against Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul and Anrich Nortje may seem harsh, but Sams has the edge over the trio. Having the experience of bowling on the slow decks of Spotless Stadium, Sams has developed a handy off-cutter, and that could be the edge that gets him a spot in Delhi’s playing XI – especially with Delhi playing 11 games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Arguably the greatest Aussie batsman in the history of the IPL, David Warner will be leading the Sunrisers Hyderabad this edition. A quality player in T20 cricket, Warner is expected to have a 500+ run season for the sixth time.
The big question will be whether Warner can curb his instincts and grind his innings out on pitches where the ball won’t be coming onto the bat as well compared to Indian pitches. As skipper, I feel the added responsibility will make Warner adapt well and do well as a batsman and as skipper.
Mitch Marsh (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Mitch Marsh comes back into the IPL fold after a four-year hiatus. But I don’t see Marsh getting many games in the IPL – a story he’s familiar with in past editions that he’s been a part of.
With all-rounders such as Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Fabian Allen who are much more attractive choices in the UAE, Marsh will have to be content with carrying the drinks around this season.
Billy Stanlake (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Just like Marsh, Stanlake will have accept carrying the drinks as the conditions aren’t in his favour to take an overseas spot in the Sunrisers’ XI. With the bounce on offer at times in Sharjah, Stanlake could get a few games there otherwise I don’t see him playing much.
Aaron Finch (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Bangalore bought Finch in the auction, and it seems he’ll be opening alongside youngster Devdutt Padikkal. His IPL numbers in the UAE are good – 169 runs at 42.25 with a strike rate of 127.07. However, that average and strike rate was inflated heavily with following an 88 not out against Delhi.
Finch’s T20I numbers in the UAE are worrying – with ten runs at an average of two. Finch’s T20 numbers go down on slower wickets, and it’ll be interesting how he fares. Does he get backed throughout the tournament or does he get dropped after a few performances? Only time will tell.
Josh Phillipe (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Phillipe is an outstanding buy by RCB, and for the sake of the IPL, I hope he’s retained by RCB for the long-term. With fast hands and improving his game against spin through his stint at the Sydney Sixers, Phipplipe is an exciting talent.
While it’ll be incredibly tricky to get into the RCB XI straightaway, Phillipe is someone who could be looked at later in the tournament.
Adam Zampa (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Zampa has been brought in as a replacement player following Kane Richardson ruling himself out for IPL 2020. An excellent addition, Zampa’s T20I numbers in the UAE are solid – with an economy of 6.25. With the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Pawan Negi in the RCB spin attack, Zampa may struggle to get into RCB’s XI straightaway.
Nonetheless, he’s a quality backup option to have on these wickets.
Steve Smith (Rajashtan Royals)
Smith’s T20 numbers are starting to get better, as his only outstanding IPL season came in 2017 – with 472 runs and leading the Rising Pune Supergiants to runners up. Captaining the Rajashthan Royals this season, the RR management will be hoping captaincy will bring the best out of Smith and RR en route to a charge to chasing a second title.
If Smith can lead from the front, he’ll have a successful season as batsmen and as skipper.
Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals)
Following a long layoff due to injury and Covid-19 stopping cricket at one point, Andrew Tye has played a handful of intra-squad matches in the Australian squad. If he gets an ODI or two against England, Tye’s preparation for IPL 2020 will be much better.
With the slow wickets on offer in the UAE, I feel Tye will enjoy these wickets and do well in the middle-overs.
Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)
Maxwell’s IPL numbers in the UAE are outstanding – 300 runs at an average of 60 and a strike rate of 201.34. Coming back to Kings XI Punjab where he had his most successful season in 2014, the Victorian all-rounder will have a big role to play for Punjab.
If Maxwell bats in the top four for Punjab for the whole of IPL 2020, don’t be surprised to see him top the run-scoring charts this IPL.
Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders)
There’ll be a lot of attention on Pat Cummins this season following KKR buying him in the IPL auction for a whopping $3.026 million AUD. With a lot of pressure on Cummins due to the price tag, the speedster from New South Wales will be expected to perform from the outset.
With calm heads such as Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik marshalling the KKR troops, Cummins should be able to thrive in the KKR environment. If the pitches suit him, Cummins will slot into the playing XI straightaway or else he could be competing with a fellow New South Welshman for the fourth overseas spot in the XI.
Chris Green (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Chris Green is an outstanding T20 bowler, and his efforts in the Big Bash and Caribbean Premier League has earned him an IPL payday. Learning off the likes of Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav, Green’s T20 game will continue to evolve for the good of Australian cricket.
If Cummins ekes out Green for the fourth overseas spot, Green will still be a great backup option for KKR – especially after his 2020 CPL exploits.