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IPL 2020: Josh Philippe promises to be an intriguing addition to Royal Challengers Bangalore's squad

  • Josh Philippe was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for his base price of INR 20 lakhs.
Sahil Jain
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 09 Mar 2020, 16:34 IST

Philippe is an intriguing addition to the RCB squad
Philippe is an intriguing addition to the RCB squad

It has been more than two years since Josh Philippe made his Big Bash League (BBL) debut. However, it was only when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) picked the Western Australian wicket-keeper that his name started gaining significant traction among cricket fanatics. Philippe is an exciting young wicket-keeper batsman who usually opens the batting and makes an impact at the top of the order.

The 22-year-old plays state cricket for Western Australia but features in the Sydney Sixers line-up in the BBL. In fact, he made his BBL debut in the 2017-18 season for the Perth Scorchers, but in the very next season, he switched his team to the Sydney Sixers where he’s found quite a bit of success.

Philippe started off as a middle-order batsman but midway through the 2018-19 season, he moved to the top and it has worked really well for the youngster, as he has started to show a lot more consistency and maturity than he did in his first season.

If you take a look at the 22-year-old's overall stats, they won't catch your attention straightaway as they are not out of the world. He averages 29.24 after a couple of seasons of first-class cricket while he averages 34.30 and 33.25 in List ‘A’ and T20 cricket. Meanwhile, his strike-rates are 111.77 and 138.30 respectively in 50-over and T20 cricket.

However, it is his ability to get big runs and his big-match temperament that stands out. Philippe was simply brilliant in the latest edition of the Big Bash League - the wicket-keeper batsman smashed 487 runs at an average of 37.46 which included a patient 34 in the Qualifier and a fine 29-ball 52 in the final for the Sydney Sixers.

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The pressure was on and the final was a reduced fixture (12 overs a side) but Philippe kept his cool and was calm throughout as he led the way for the Sixers on the big day. He also hit a rough patch in the middle of the BBL but he made sure he came out of it and helped the Sixers lift their second BBL title.

Philippe was added to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) squad for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). He was bought for his base price of ₹20 lakhs in the auction. It will be interesting to see how Philippe fits into the playing XI and if he gets regular chances, as RCB already have a power-packed line-up.

They have the likes of AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Chris Morris and Dale Steyn – all of whom warrant a place in the starting XI any day of the week and in any conditions. Hence, with just four overseas players allowed, the 22-year-old Western Australian will find it tough to break into the RCB XI straightaway.

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But there’s absolutely no doubt that the IPL experience will help the young wicket-keeper batsman. He will get to rub his shoulders with some of the best players in world cricket and like many others, is likely to come out as a better player.

If RCB need him, Philippe is more than useful at the top of the order. In fact, he could well fit in the middle if needed, given the fact that he was a middle-order player at the start of his career. He can play spin well and has the ability to rotate strike nicely and can bat through the innings as well. Additionally, Philippe can go through the gears and be destructive if need be as well.

Objectively speaking, Philippe may not be a direct shout to start in the RCB XI, but is an intriguing option to have. 

Published 08 Mar 2020, 09:00 IST
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