Analyzing how highly paid Australian players have performed in the IPL over the years

Some of the biggest Australian names have been sold for plenty at the IPL auction
Some of the biggest Australian names have been sold for plenty at the IPL auction

The 2024 IPL auction witnessed history, with the ₹20 crore mark breached for the first time since the inception of the league. If that wasn't surprising enough, the auction saw two players sold at a colossal price of over ₹20 crore.

Australian skipper Pat Cummins and left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc flexed their World Champions muscle to become the top two buys in IPL history. While the SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) bought Cummins for a whopping ₹20.50 crore, the Kolkata Knight Riders took it further by acquiring Starc for a record ₹24.75 crore.

While the duo's pedigree in world cricket is unquestioned, they have often let IPL franchises down with mediocre performances and availability issues. It forced several experts to question the rationale behind overseas players fetching more money than Indian stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah, among others.

Considering the skeptics around the two biggest beneficiaries of the 2024 auction being Aussie cricketers, the question arises of how the highly paid Australian players have done in past IPLs.

On that note, let us deep dive through memory lane and analyze the performances of the most expensive Australian cricketers in IPL history.


#1 Cameron Green - ₹17.50 crore, IPL 2023 auction

Australian all-rounder Cameron Green was the second most expensive buy at ₹17.50 crore in IPL history until yesterday. However, with Starc and Cummins' record-breaking acquisitions, Green is now fourth all-time behind the duo and Sam Curran.

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) roped in Green at the 2023 IPL auction with the hope of resurgence after two dismal seasons in 2021 and 2022. The 24-year-old lived up to his billing and performed admirably for the franchise in his debut IPL season. Green scored 452 runs in 16 games at an excellent average of 50.22 and a strike rate of 160.28, including a magnificent match-winning century against SRH.

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His heroics helped MI qualify for the playoffs for the first time since their title run in 2020.

However, with the return of Hardik Pandya in the off-season, MI traded Green to RCB to clear cap space for the 2024 auction.


#2 Pat Cummins - ₹15.50 crore, IPL 2020 auction

The 2023 World Cup-winning skipper Pat Cummins has been the darling of the IPL auction several times before yesterday. He was the most expensive buy of the 2020 auction at ₹15.50 crore after being snapped up by KKR.

It was Cummins' second stint with the franchise after being part of their setup in 2014 and 2015. While the Aussie pacer played only a combined four matches over those two years, expectations were much higher on Cummins during his second hurrah with the franchise.

Yet, the 30-year-old flattered to deceive and picked up only 12 wickets in 14 games in the 2020 season at an average of over 34. It meant KKR missed the playoffs and finished fifth among eight teams on the points table.

Cummins was part of the Bengal-based franchise the following two seasons but played only 12 outings combined and picked up 16 wickets.

Considering his stature in world cricket and the money churned out for him, it is safe to say Cummins hasn't yet lived up to those standards in the IPL.


#3 Glenn Maxwell - ₹14.25 crore, 2021 IPL auction & ₹10.75 crore, IPL 2020 auction

Like Pat Cummins, all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has found the IPL auction to his liking on several occasions. The 35-year-old was the third-highest buy in the 2021 auction at ₹14.25 crore by RCB despite a dismal showing in the previous edition.

It is worth mentioning that Maxwell's services were purchased by the Punjab Kings (PBKS) in the 2020 auction for a whopping ₹10.75 crore. However, the Victorian-born cricketer scored a paltry 108 runs in 13 games at an average of 15.42 without hitting one maximum.

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The horrendous performance in 2020 made RCB's buy in the next auction all the more baffling. Yet, Maxwell redeemed himself and scored 513 runs at an average of 42.75 and a strike rate of 144.10 for RCB in 2021. His match-winning qualities in the lower middle order played an integral role in RCB advancing to the playoffs.

Maxwell remains with the franchise despite average seasons in 2022 and 2023.


#4 Jhye Richardson - ₹14 crore, IPL 2021 auction

Perhaps the most shocking overpay among Australian cricketers happened with Jhye Richardson in the 2021 IPL auction. While the 27-year-old was in peak form, the Punjab Kings shelling ₹14 crore surprised several experts and fans.

Despite the ability to clock speeds in the high 140s, Richardson struggled to overcome the weight of the price tag. He played only three games for Punjab in what turned out to be his first and last IPL season. Richardson was highly expensive, with an economy of over 10.60, and picked up only three wickets.

It would not be wrong to state that the Western Australian pacer has been the highest-priced underperformer among Aussie players in IPL history.


#5 Chris Lynn - ₹9.60 crore, IPL 2018 auction

Lynn hasn't quite replicated his Big Bash heroics in the IPL.
Lynn hasn't quite replicated his Big Bash heroics in the IPL.

The big-hitting Chris Lynn is among the giants of the Big Bash League (BBL), with "Lynnsanity" being commonly used to describe the batter's breathtaking knocks.

However, his IPL career hasn't been as fruitful, with the 33-year-old often coming unglued on Indian pitches. Yet, Lynn enjoyed his most successful season for KKR in 2017, with an average of over 49 and a strike rate of 181 in seven games.

It propelled the franchise to invest heavily in the Queensland cricketer in the following auction at a final price of ₹9.60 crore. To Lynn's credit, he combatted his price-tag demons better than other celebrated Aussie names and performed admirably in the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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He scored 491 and 405 runs in the two seasons at an average in the mid-30s and a strike rate touching 135.

However, KKR and Lynn parted ways in 2020, and the veteran batter was part of the Mumbai Indians (MI) squad in 2021 but played only the solitary outing.

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Edited by Ankush Das
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