The Indian Premier League may have given the spotlight to many Indian players but some of the best performers in the history of the competition have been the overseas stars.
Indeed, Shane Watson’s international career took a turn for the better due to his performances in the first season of the Indian Premier League and he is now of the biggest names in the game.
The likes of Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard all became world-renowned cricketers after their heroics in the IPL. There is somewhat of a pattern with Australian and West Indian players – and it is supposed to be as the two nations have given the most successful players in the IPL since its inception.
Even in the recently-concluded auction for the upcoming season, Australians and West Indians dominated – especially the former as no less than 19 Aussies were picked up by IPL sides.
With that in mind, let us look at the potential West Indian and Australian stars for IPL 2020.
Cottrell has earned a solid reputation with his left-arm pace bowling and intriguing celebration after picking up wickets. Kings XI Punjab bought him for a whopping INR 8.5 crore – which means that he will certainly be a starter in the initial matches at least.
The left-handed has genuine pace and bounce to his bowling and could be a wonderful asset on a good batting surface where other bowlers could have trouble picking up wickets.
Delhi Capitals made one of the best purchases of the auctions when they decided to spend INR 7.75 crore on southpaw batsman Shimron Hetmyer. Not much needs to be said about him as Hetmyer is a player with abundant talent.
The West Indian is a power hitter and has already shown that he can be a great batsman on Indian soil. The Capitals have a superb aggressor in their team, someone who can score runs at an immense rate, as his strike-rate of over 130 in T20s suggest.
Kolkata Knight Riders might have opted to let go of Chris Lynn but he had no trouble in finding a new home as Mumbai Indians signed him for INR 2 crore. The Australian is an experienced campaigner in the IPL and could use his wealth of talent for the good of the Indians.
His track record in T20 cricket speaks for itself as he has an average of 30 and a strike-rate of nearly 130 in the format. He is certainly going to add stability at the top of the order for Mumbai Indians.
Glenn Maxwell may just end up being the most dangerous batsman in the IPL this season. The Australian has been dropped from Australia’s squad for the India ODI series but he has used it to his advantage as he may just be in the form of his life in the Big Bash League.
He is scoring runs for fun in the premier T20 competition of Australia and is also contributing with the ball and his captaincy as well. Kings XI Punjab signed him for INR 10.75 crore and while that is a lot of money, it may end up helping them win the IPL.
Pat Cummins became the most expensive overseas player of all time in the Indian Premier League when Kolkata Knight Riders signed him for INR 15.5 crore. The Australian pacer is one of the best bowlers in the world but the jury on his ability to perform up to his price tag in T20 cricket is still out (his average in the format is close to 25, which is not nearly as good as one would expect it to be from him).
Nevertheless, Cummins oozes talent and is a world-class player – and the best thing about them is that they can adapt to anything. Cummins is also a decent batsman, which means that KKR will also have a batting option down the order, someone who can make a quick 10-ball 20.
There are some other names, too, that have been left out for the sake of simplicity but one has to toss a coin for both Aaron Finch and Marcus Stoinis.
The Australia ODI captain scored a century in his last ODI match in India and looks like a player in incredible form. If Virat Kohli gives him a consistent run as an opener, Royal Challengers Bangalore may reap the rewards from it.
Stoinis, meanwhile, is the highest run-scorer in the Big Bash League with an astonishing 517 runs. He opens for Melbourne Stars and his form has helped them win 9 out of the 10 matches that they have played so far this season and while he hasn’t bowled at all in this BBL, he is also a decent medium-pace option for Delhi Capitals – who may just have the best top-order batting options among all the teams.