Australia has never been short on very talented cricketers and over the last decade they have provided some of the best imports to the Indian Premier League. No Australian player has enjoyed quite the cult status of Chris Gayle or AB de Villiers among Indian supporters, but that is not to say that Aussies haven’t lit up the tournament on a regular basis.
In the 2021 edition of the IPL, there will be 18 Australian cricket players after Josh Philippe withdrew from the tournament, as reported by bets.com.au. Below we look at the Australians that could make the biggest difference to their respective teams.
Glenn Maxwell is probably the most popular current Australian player in the IPL. He made his debut in 2012 and has participated in every IPL tournament since.
While many will rightly remember Maxwell’s tremendous hitting ability, when it comes to the IPL auction, there is so much more that he offers. Maxwell is one of the finest fielders in world cricket and is very capable with the ball in hand – all of which makes him hot property in the T20 game.
It was surprising when Kings XI Punjab declined on the opportunity to retain him. But as they say, one’s loss is another’s gain. The Royal Challengers Bangalore picked Maxwell up at the auction as they look to win their first IPL title.
With AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli already in the RCB line-up, the addition of Maxwell is enough to make ones mouth water. There could be some scary scorecards if those three fire on the same day.
With an average of 22.13, it is easy to see that Maxwell isn’t the most consistent with the bat in hand, but his all-around ability and an impressive strike rate of 154.67 in 82 IPL appearances make him a possible game-change for RCB.
Adam Zampa is not what one would call an IPL veteran having only played 14 matches across three seasons. He made his IPL debut in 2016, featured again in 2017 and then returned in 2020.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore retained Zampa for this season despite only featuring in three matches in 2020. That says a lot about what they think of Zampa’s ability and drastic improvement over the last three years.
Leg spin is a deadly weapon in T20 cricket and Zampa is one of the best exponents of the art. He will certainly feature more this season, and if he can find his form early only, he could make a massive difference to the RCB’s title hopes.
Zampa will miss the start of the IPL due to his wedding. Once he however arrives in India, he will certainly have a major role to play.
Steven Smith is among the finest batsmen in the world at the moment. His class transcends formats and despite many doubts over the years of his ability in the shortest format, he has proven his critics wrong time and again.
In one of the more surprising moves, the Rajasthan Royals decided to part company with Steven Smith. That opened the door to the Delhi Capitals who didn’t waste any time grabbing the former Australian captain.
Smith has a career IPL average of over 35 which is very good for the T20 format. His strike rate of just under 130 is more than respectable for someone who bats in the top four.
After a promising season in 2020, the Delhi Capitals will want to put in another big showing as they attempt to push for the title. Smith’s leadership and experience, not to mention his incredible run-scoring ability could be just the medicine required to take them all the way.
At this time Pat Cummins is arguably the best fast bowler in the world. Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada may disagree slightly.
But Cummins’ brilliance is there for all to see. This will be his fifth IPL after participating in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020. He took 12 wickets at an average of 34.08 in 2020 which was impressive, despite being nowhere near his very best.
Cummins also offers some lower-order batting prowess with an average of over 20 last year. His ability with the ball will make the Kolkata Knight Riders a constant threat in the 2021 IPL, but the big Australian quick will need some help along the way.
David Warner has proven to be among the best foreign batsmen in IPL history. He has been part of the IPL since 2009, only missing 2018 due to his ban.
Over 142 IPL matches, Warner averages 42.71 with the bat – an incredible average in the shortest format. A strike rate of over 140 accompanies that average which makes Warner one of the hottest properties in the IPL.
Warner led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to the semi-final of the IPL in 2020 and will want to go a step further this time around. Another big season from Warner could see the Sunrisers push for the title but those around him will need to perform, too.