As the 3-test series between Australia and West Indies draws to a close, a number of players from Australia (and Darren Bravo from the West Indies) will fly in to India to take part in the IPL. Let’s look at the players coming in and the difference they can make to their respective teams.
Chennai Super Kings- The defending champions will be further strengthened by the arrival of Michael Hussey and Ben Hilfenhaus. Hussey, who has been a very important player for the Super Kings in the past, might however find it difficult to get into the first team this time around with Francois Du Plessis in the form of his life. Hilfenhaus will have to battle for a spot in the team with fellow Aussie Doug Bollinger and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Rajathan Royals- The Rajasthan Royals, who have depended a lot on Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge and Owais Shah, will be delighted to welcome the services of Shane Watson. The allrounder should take his place at the top of the order, which will mean that either captain Rahul Dravid or orange cap holder Rahane will have to be moved down the order. The excellent Kevon Cooper will probably have to sit out for Watson.
Pune Warriors- The Pune Warriors had a great start to the season, but have since struggled. So, they will be delighted that Australian captain Michael Clarke is going to join their team shortly. Clarke doesn’t play international twenty-20 cricket, but should find himself in the starting XI, most probably in place of Marlon Samuels.
Delhi Daredevils- As Kevin Pietersen gets ready to leave, the current leaders welcome the explosive opener David Warner into the team. Jayawardane will most certainly move into the middle order to allow Warner to open the innings with captain Sehwag. Sehwag and Warner, if they play to their potential, constitute what is probably the most exciting opening partnership in the world. So, Delhi will be pleased to have Warner even though Pietersen’s absence will create a hole in the middle order with Ross Taylor out of form.
Deccan Chargers- The Deccan Chargers are languishing at the bottom of the table with one win out of seven as Darren Bravo joins the squad. However, Dwayne Bravo’s younger brother may have to wait before he can play as Cameron White produced a long-overdue Man Of The Match performance against Pune while allrounder Daniel Christian is also waiting in the wings.
Kings XI Punjab- The Mohali-based team will be looking to Ryan Harris to really create a difference. The team have really struggled with their bowling with Praveen Kumar taking just 2 wickets in 8 matches. Harris has pace and bounce and could just be the person to change the fortunes of the 8th placed Punjab team.
Kolkata Knight Riders- James Pattinson got himself injured during the West Indies series and it isn’t clear if he will be available to play for the Kolkata team. However, the Knight Riders already have another Australian fast bowler in Brett Lee and shouldn’t be affected too much.
Royal Challengers Bangalore- The Bangalore team will have no new players coming in. In A.B.De Villiers, Chris Gayle and Tilakaratne Dilshan, they have 3 foreign players in form and so might not be able to fit in any new players, even if they were available.
Mumbai Indians- Mitchell Johnson hasn’t yet come into the Mumbai team and it’s still not clear why. Otherwise, the team is at full strength. So, they’ll be disappointed that they are currently 7th in the table.
Note: Team standings as of 27th April 2012.