With the IPL 2020 set to be played in the UAE beginning September 19, the countdown for the tournament's commencement has begun.
Many of the franchises bought some exciting overseas picks in the auction. However, one will have to wait and see if all of these players make their debuts and be successful in this edition of the IPL.
In this article, we take a look at the top five overseas players who are likely to play in the IPL this season.
Top five overseas players who could play in the IPL this season:
#5: Joshua Philippe (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The 23-year-old wicket-keeper and opening batsman Joshua Philippe has been picked for his very first IPL campaign. The talented batsman will be representing the Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020.
Philippe is very dangerous with the bat in hand and can easily give his side a rapid start in the power play. His fast hands and ability to pick the length early makes him a force to be reckoned with in T20 cricket.
After his heroics in the Big Bash League in Australia, Philippe was picked up in the IPL auction by Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 20L. He played a defining role in helping his BBL side Sydney Sixers win the 2019 Big Bash League last year.
In the 32 T20 matches he has played so far, Philippe has a strike rate of nearly 140, a reason why RCB may want to play him because of the unavailability of Aaron Finch at the beginning of the IPL 2020 campaign.
#4: Tom Banton (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Tom Banton has been the talk of the town due to his performances in the domestic circuit. He made his T20I debut for England in November 2019.
Banton has been drafted by Kolkata Knight Riders for IPL 2020. Previously, Brisbane Heat signed him for the Big Bash League and he was also drafted by Peshawar Zalmi for the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
England legend Marcus Trescothick reckons that Banton is a consistent player who works hard to improve his game and would be a force to reckon with in T20 cricket.
Tom Banton is a dynamic wicket-keeper batsman. His fierce and stylish batting has helped him land exclusive deals with franchises across various T20 leagues.
He is seen as a destructive top-order batsman who can gather quick runs, especially in the power play, which acts as a foundation for teams to chase down or set any score.
#3: Sheldon Cottrell (Kings XI Punjab)
IPL is incomplete without the glitz and glamour of West Indies players. They automatically lift their sides by producing breathtaking performances. Kings XI Punjab bought fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell in the IPL auction for his ability to bowl at any stage of the game.
Cottrell has a habit of producing magical deliveries upfront and is also an asset during the death overs. KXIP skipper KL Rahul will be hoping that Cottrell is in top form during IPL 2020 and performs as he does for his national team.
Watch out for his signature salute celebration after he picks up a wicket, one that could instantly make him a crowd favourite.
#2: Alex Carey (Delhi Capitals)
Alex Carey’s World Cup 2019 heroics would still be fresh in cricket fans’ minds. Although Australia did not win the tournament (they lost to England in the semifinal), Carey emerged as one of their most reliable players and showed his adaptability throughout the campaign. Overall, Carey scored 375 runs during the 2019 World Cup at an average of 62.50.
The Delhi Capitals will hope that Carey can repeat his magic in the IPL as well. In Ricky Ponting, the head coach of the Delhi Capitals, Alex Carey may have an ideal mentor who has immense belief in Carey's abilities.
#1: Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings)
Josh Hazlewood is perhaps very underrated in T20 cricket - be it at the international level or franchise level.
One of the reasons behind this is probably because he has played very few T20 games. The Australian Cricket Board has often rested their key fast bowlers in anticipation of big Test series.
Hazzlewood was also bought by Mumbai Indians in the 2014 edition of the IPL but he did not get to play a single game. He pulled out of the IPL in 2015, and is yet to make his debut in the competition.
Hazlewood has an enviable record in T20 cricket. He has played 35 games and taken 42 wickets at a bowling average of 24.11 and an excellent economy rate of just 7.56.
The Chennai Super Kings have struggled at times on fast and bouncy pitches outside Chepauk – especially when Lungi Ngidi has been injured.
If CSK decides to play both Lungi Ngidi and Josh Hazlewood on quicker pitches, their bowling away from home could be far stronger than before. They did it to good effect in their title-winning 2018 IPL season when Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi were on song.
CSK managed to purchase Josh Hazlewood for just Rs 2 crore at the IPL Auction 2020. Given that other franchises have paid considerably more for overseas fast bowlers, Hazlewood's purchase could prove to be a steal.Published 05 Aug 2020, 17:34 IST