As the seventh Indian Premier League nears its conclusion, we’ve compiled an All-Star Australian team of IPL7.
1. Mike Hussey
Having played in five editions of the IPL with the Chennai Super Kings, Mike Hussey had a poor start with his new franchise, the Mumbai Indians. He didn’t score over 16 in his first four matches and was subsequently dropped from the team. Reinstated three weeks later, ‘Mr Cricket’ scored 56 from 39 balls against Rajasthan to return to form. He scored 56 again, two games later against Delhi, this time from just 33 balls. Despite his 39 (33) in an ‘Eliminator’ playoff match to help Mumbai to a competitive 173, his old side Chennai chased the total down with eight balls to spare to knock Mumbai out.
2. Aaron Finch
The number one ranked T20 International batsman in the world, Aaron Finch had a pretty solid tournament with his fourth IPL franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad. Despite his hard-hitting 88 not out (53) against Delhi and his 68 (62) against Mumbai, the Sunrisers missed out on the playoffs, finishing sixth with six wins for the tournament.
3. David Warner
Finch’s Sunrisers Hyderabad teammate, David Warner, had a magnificent IPL7, amassing 528 runs – the fourth highest – at average of over 40. Accustomed to opening the batting, Warner batted in the middle-order for most of the tournament. He passed 50 six times – the most for any batsman in the tournament – and is one of only four players to have scored more than 500 runs. Chennai Super Kings’ bowlers will be having nightmares of Warner following his explosive 90 off 48 balls to help his side chase down 185.
4. Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell announced himself to the world with scores of 95 (43 balls), 89 (45 balls), 95 (55 balls) in his first three Kings XI Punjab matches. Undoubtedly the standout Australian player of IPL7, Maxwell has had an incredible tournament, helping Punjab to a top of the table finish. His clean hitting and inventive stroke-play were features of his incredible early form. Despite something of a rough trot towards the back end of the tournament, Maxwell will be looking to help Punjab to win the IPL.
5. David Hussey
Having been passed in at the IPL Auction, veteran David Hussey travelled to India as a television commentator. When Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo was ruled out for the tournament with an injury in early May, Hussey was called in to the squad to replace him. The 36 year-old showed no rust as he made 25 (from 29 balls) and took two wickets in his first match. Hussey’s dream run continued, making an unbeaten 50 (33 balls) in the next match and then 40 (29 balls) to help Chennai to knock out older brother Mike’s Mumbai Indians in an elimination playoff match. As it stands, David’s batting average sits at 115.
6. George Bailey (Captain)
Despite only having played four IPL matches prior to this edition of the IPL, George Bailey was appointed captain of the Kings XI Punjab team. Batting at the number 6 or 7 for most of the tournament, Bailey has had a good tournament as a lower-order ‘finisher’. His 255 runs have come at an average of 36.42 and his strike-rate of 137.09 is in the top 20 for the tournament. While he didn’t pass 50 at any stage, Bailey’s clever batting has helped Punjab to finish on top of the IPL ladder.
7. Shane Watson
Player of the tournament in the first IPL in 2008, Shane Watson has had a long affiliation with the IPL and the Rajasthan Royals. Captaining a side with a strong Australian flavour – James Faulkner, Steve Smith, Kane Richardson, Ben Cutting and Brad Hodge have all featured for Rajasthan this season – the burly all-rounder has had recorded some impressive performances. He made two 50s but Watson’s most impressive act was with the ball; his hat-trick against Hyderabad included Shikhar Darwan and Australian teammate Moises Henriques.
8. James Faulkner
James Faulkner continues to show significant promise as an all-rounder after some outstanding performances in IPL7. Although expensive with the ball at times, the all-rounder came through for the Rajasthan Royals with some sensational innings with the bat. The clear highlight of his tournament was hitting an unbeaten 41 (off 17 balls) in an 85-run partnership (off 32 balls) with Steve Smith to chase down 190 against Bangalore.
9. Mitch Johnson
Australia’s Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson has been a key part of the Kings XI Punjab team that has topped IPL7 points table. The left-arm quick has taken 14 wickets at 25.64 and clocked the fourth fastest ball of the tournament so far, registering 150.83 km/hr. Along with Mitch Starc, Johnson’s tally of 14 wickets is the equal most for Australians in the IPL.
10. Mitch Starc
Mitch Starc was a rare standout for a Royal Challengers Bangalore team that underachieved in IPL7. Playing in his first IPL, Starc’s 14 wickets came at an average of 28.71 and his economy rate of 7.49 was impressive considering he mainly bowled in the opening power-play and at the death. Starc has certainly done no damage to his reputation as one of the finest young fast bowlers in Twenty20.
11. Kane Richardson
Sporting a beard of growing proportions, Kane Richardson played seven matches for the Rajasthan Royals in IPL7. He was unlucky not to play more, considering his 7 wickets came at an average of 22.88 and his economy rate was 7.62. Regardless, the 23 year-old has shown himself to be one of the most promising Australian bowlers outside the national side.