IPL 2018: 5 Australian players to watch out for
Over the last ten years of the biggest T20 festival, the cricketing world has witnessed top quality performances, comebacks and historic moments that only add to the heritage of the gentleman’s game. Be it for the youth or the experienced, the IPL has only fostered new talent and granted the world an array of match winners from all around the globe.
It is important to know that behind every team’s success recipe, there is Australian flavour involved. In the first season, Rajasthan Royals emerged as surprise packages, an anchor in the form of Shane Warne orchestrated a fantastic inaugural season victory, where he perfectly assigned roles to every player and fabricated the right balance, bringing the best out of everyone. He set himself apart as an attacking wicket-taker, claiming 19 scalps in the 2008 season and leading by example. Second on the list is Shane Watson, who put up an all-round show, picking up 17 wickets, four player of the match awards and player of the tournament. In fact, he is the only man to have won the player of the tournament accolade twice. The same season, Shaun Marsh announced himself by winning the Orange Cap for the Kings XI Punjab, helping them to third place.
Next season, arguably Australia’s most attacking opener of all time, Matthew Hayden scored the most number of runs. He struck 572 runs in 12 matches for the Chennai Super Kings. For a successful Deccan Chargers side in the 2010 edition, Andrew Symonds picked up three man-of-the-match awards, second only to the great Sachin Tendulkar. In the same season, Doug Bollinger joined the CSK camp in the second half of the term and set the field on fire, bowling at an unbelievable economy of 6.67 and collecting 12 wickets. In the 2013 season, Mike Hussey took charge and formidably won the orange cap, scoring 733 runs in the tournament. While Watson scored a century that term, James Faulkner took two five-wicket hauls and claimed 28 wickets. Speedster Mitchell Johnson ended up 4th place in the Purple Cap list, collecting 24 wickets.
In the 8th and the 10th edition of the league, David Warner scored 1203 runs in total, wearing the Orange Cap in both seasons. In the 2016 season too, he scored 848 runs at an average of 60.57. The same year, Watson impressed yet again with the ball, chipping in with 20 wickets. Out of 10 winning teams, three sides have been led by Australian captains. Hence, it is quite clear that the men from down under have stamped their authority in the IPL. This season too, a number of Aussies are expected to hit the ground running and guide their sides to glory.
Here are 5 Australians to watch out for this season:
#1 Mitchell Starc
Feared as the deadliest bowler in present-day cricket, Mitchell Starc will be set to go and lead Kolkata Knight Riders' bowling attack. Starc bowls consistently at a pace of above 145 clicks and is one of the most all-round bowlers at the moment.
In the shortest format, he not only picks up early wickets but also stops the flow of runs at the death with some toe-crushing yorkers. If well utilised, he can rip apart any batting line-up. Earlier on, he sticks to the right line, doesn't offer any room to the batsman, swings it in and bowls quick. At the death, Starc relies on the fuller deliveries, the ones that rattle the stumps and only end up in the blockhole.
He garnered praise in the 2015 IPL season, where he picked up 20 wickets in just 13 matches, at a stunning average of 14.55 and an economy of 6.76. With a younger looking bowling line-up consisting of U-19 stars like Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi, the onus will be on the New South Wales speedster to deliver the goods.