Aussie Watch: which Aussies are lighting up the Indian Premier League

Pat Cummins Raises his bat after 50
Pat Cummins on his way to a knock of 66. Image: @KKRiders. Twitter

Eleven more excellent matches of the IPL are in the bank. Catch up on all the action from every side. We take you through all the Australian performances from matches 12 through 17.

The COVID IPL

With a terrifying COVID situation in India with 300,000 reported cases and 20 thousand deaths a day, there have been questions around whether this IPL should continue. There are three Australians who have now decided they can’t wait until the end of the IPL and don’t want to take the risk of staying in India.

Australian bowler Andrew Tye of Rajasthan was the first player to decide to leave, he expressed concerns about the possibility of a bio breach and the devastation this could cause in the IPL.

South Australian and Bangalore pair Kane Richardson and Adam Zampa also decided to leave the bubble to try and come back to Australia. Unfortunately for these men, they are now stuck in Mumbai outside of the COVID bubble, waiting for a flight back to Australia.

Pat Cummins was also at the centre of the IPL COVID situation, he announced a 50,000-dollar donation to the prime minister cares fund, a fund designed for COVID relief in India.

While the COVID situation in India continues to worsen, the IPL continues to move along. While there is discussion as to whether the tournament should be suspended, there is no doubt the cricket provides at least a small escape from the difficulties of the pandemic.

Match 12 Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals

RR won the toss and bowled first

CSK 9-188 (20 overs) defeated RR 9-143 (20 overs)

CSK Faf du Plessis 33 RR Chetan Salariya 3-40 (4 overs)

RR Jos Buttler 49 CSK Moeen Ali 3-7 (3 overs)

Australian Performers

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Match 13 Delhi Capitals v Mumbai Indians

Mumbai won the toss and batted first

MI 9-139 (20 overs) defeated by 4-138 (19.1 overs)

MI Rohit Sharma 44 DC Amit Mishra 4-24 (4 overs)

DC Shikhar Dhawan 45 MI Jayant Yadav 1-25 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Marcus Stoinis– Stoinis has not been used as a front-line bowler this IPL. Captain Rishabh Pant and coach Ricky Ponting decided to change this for match 12. The frugal opening spell from Stoinis went a long way to getting Delhi into a winning position. After Stoinis’ excellent batting performance in the last match to contribute, the ball should cement his spot in the Delhi lineup for the rest of the tournament.

As well as being frugal not letting many runs off his bowling, he picked up the critical wicket of South African blaster Quinton de Kock. Stoinis finished with 3 overs 1-20, an excellent return for someone who is Delhi’s 6th bowler. With Anrich Nortje returning into the Delhi set up soon, it is unlikely that Stoinis will continue to bowl often. For Aussie fans, hopefully, Stoinis can gain confidence and momentum from this performance. He was not required with the bat.

Steve Smith- After having missed the first game, Smith seems to be finding some form. While T20 cricket appears to be moving away from the traditional anchor, batsman Smith has made this role his own. Coming in at 1-11 and only chasing 138 for victory, Smith was required to settle the innings rather than score fast.

29 balls are what Smith managed to face before falling to Keiron Pollard. While it was not an issue in this game, his strike rate of only 113 will come under the microscope. The question is whether he can accelerate when required. However, in Match 13, Smith played a vital knock, finishing with 33 (29) with 4 boundaries. The positive for Aussie fans is that Smith is scoring runs again. Hopefully, this can continue throughout the rest of the tournament.

Match 14 Punjab Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad

Punjab won the toss and elected to bat

PK 10-120 (20 overs) defeated by SRH 1-121 (18.4 overs)

PK Mayank Agarwal 22 Khaleel Ahmed 3-21 (4 overs)

SRH David Warner 63 PK Fabian Allen 1-22 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Moises Henriques- With Punjab dropping the two Aussie fast bowlers in Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith, there was room for Henriques to come into the middle order. Henriques brought some much-needed experience into the middle order and managed to settle the order, albeit for only a short time. In what was a horrible game for Punjab, Henriques could not show his skills on a difficult pitch.

Batting at 6, Henriques came in when the score was only 4-47, at this point, the game was almost lost. With wickets consistently falling and a pitch that was two-paced, Henriques could not get into the rhythm required. He did, however, manage to get the score to 6-82 before getting stumped by Abhishek Sharma with some tidy work behind the stumps.

Henriques managed 14 off 17 balls. It was a difficult pitch under challenging circumstances, an innings that should be forgiven and moved on from.

David Warner- In chasing a small total and on a difficult pitch, Warner went with the safe option and did not take risks. While it took 18.4 overs for Sunrisers to chase the total down, a win was more important than the pace of pursuing it. With Hyderabad still having 10 matches to go in the group stages, the building of form and momentum for Warner and Hyderabad is incredibly important.

Chasing only 121 for victory, Warner went about his work slowly, finishing with a strike rate of only 100. His 37 from 37 allowed Sunrisers into a winning position and take the game away from Punjab. Putting on 73 for the opening partnership with Jonny Bairstow, Warner contributed to a solid win for the Sunrisers Franchise. For Aussie fans, it was good to see Warner score some runs and guide a win.

Match 15 Kolkata Knight Riders v Chennai Super Kings

KKR won the toss and elected to bowl

CSK 3-220 (20 overs) defeated KKR 10-202 (19.1 over)

CSK Faf du Plessis 95 KKR Varun Chakaravarthy 1-27 (4 overs)

KKR Pat Cummins 66 CSK Deepak Charar 4-29 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Pat Cummins- It was a match of highs and lows for Pat Cummins. At the high-scoring ground of Wankhede in Mumbai, both sides could score freely and highly. After a terrible start with the ball, he managed to bring KKR back into the game with the bat in the second innings. The Chennai batsman seemed to want to target Cummins, and du Plessis got the better of him.

With the ball, there was not a lot for Cummins to write home about. He bowled the four most expensive overs of the 2021 version of the IPL in a wicketless spell. Cummins finished with 0-58 from his four overs, his worst IPL performance to date. 14.5 runs per over which is well below par.

Chennai finished on 220, a massive score with a quarter of the runs coming off Cummins’ bowling.

It was a different story though for Cummins with the bat. Coming in with KKR in a difficult position at 6-112 Cummins almost brought it home for his team. Needing to go big early, chasing a massive total, Cummins struck at over 200 for most of the innings.

Cummins continued the striking that Andre Russell started. He finished with 66 off 34, including six huge sixes. Unfortunately, the tail could not stick around with him. The final 2 wickets fell for only 2 runs; both were run-outs trying to get Cummins back on strike. This was Cummins’ best performance with the bat to go along with his worst with the ball. For Aussie fans seeing Cummins perform well with the bat was a significant upside.

Match 16 Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals

RCB won the toss and elected to bowl

RR 9-177 (20 overs) defeated by RCB 0-181 (16.3 overs)

RR Shivam Dube 46 RCB Mohammed Siraj 3-27 (4 overs)

RCB Devdutt Padikkal 101 RR Chetan Sakariya 0-35 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Kane Richardson- Coming in for his first match of the tournament, the Aussie speedster had an average start with the ball. However, it was an excellent win for the team, with Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal leading from the front to win by 10 wickets.

Richardson did not manage to get through his 4 overs, he was too expensive to be trusted with a 4th. After RCB went into the last match with only 3 overseas players, Richardson came in to add some experience to the fast-bowling lineup. He finished with 1-29 from his 3 overs. An expensive outing with only 5 dots coming from his bowling. The upside was taking the wicket of Rajasthan’s high scorer Shivam Dube.

Glenn Maxwell- It was a quiet match for Glenn Maxwell, who was not able to perform with bat or ball. With Bangalore winning by 10 wickets, Maxwell was not required with the bat and with the consistent fall of wickets meant that he wasnt called upon to bowl.

He did manage 2 quality catches, however, in what is always an excellent fielding effort.

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Match 17 Punjab Kings v Mumbai Indians

PK won the toss and elected to bowl

MI 6-131 (20 overs) defeated by PK 1-132 (17.4 overs)

MI Rohit Sharma 63 PK Ravi Bishnoi 2-21 (4 overs)

PK KL Rahul 60 MI Rahul Chahar 1-19 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Moises Henriques- The Aussie all-rounder has been given a different task than he is used to. Bowling more in this IPL than he has in recent times. In the BBL, he predominantly plays as a batsman, in the stacked batting line ups of the IPL, he has been pushed down to 7.

Against Mumbai, Henriques opened the bowling and did a terrific job. Bowling tight lines with his accurate medium pacers, it was impossible for the Mumbai batsman to get him away on a difficult pitch for batting.

From his 3 overs, Henriques managed 0-12, an excellent effort to only go at 4 per over. If Henriques is to sneak into the world cup squad, he will have to be operating in both disciplines. Seeing him bowling well should be exciting for Aussie fans as he continues to push for more international opportunities.

 Match 18 Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders

RR won the toss and elected to bowl.

KKR 9-133 (20 overs) defeated by RR 4-134 (18.5 overs)

KKR Rahul Tripathi 36 RR Chris Morris 4-23 (4 overs)

RR Sanju Samson 42 KKR Varun Chakaravarthy 2-32 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Pat Cummins– Once again, Cummins has had a slow start to the IPL. His bowling has been costly and largely wicketless. It has also been a slow start for Kolkata currently, 2 wins and 4 losses from 6 matches played, the side will want to change their fortunes. In a low-scoring affair, Pat Cummins was once again disappointing with the ball.

Cummins came in with only 2 overs to go with the bat, and he managed to do a good job. He struck an enormous six to make his way to 10 from 6 balls when he was eventually fell chasing quick runs. He added some critical runs to an already low total; the problem was he could not back it up with the ball.

When defending only 133, it was important for Cummins to strike early and keep the run rate down. Much like his start to last year’s IPL, he could not manage this, boundaries were flowing off the Rajasthan bats against Cummins. His high pace was a disadvantage, with edges flying over the boundary for 6. The winning runs were also hit off Cummins, in a difficult day in which he only bowled 4 dots. 3.5 overs 0-36 were Cummins final figures.

Kolkata will be hoping Cummins’ form with the ball improves dramatically if they are going to make a run to the playoffs.

Match 19 Chennai Super Kings v Royal Challengers Bangalore

CSK won the toss and elected to bat.

CSK Ravindra Jadeja 62 RCB Harshal Patel 3-51 (4 overs)

RCB Devdutt Padikkal 34 CSK Ravindra Jadeja 3-13 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Dan Christian– It was a match to forget for Bangalore, with both the batting and bowling departments having their worst performance of the tournament. Dan Christian seems to be struggling to adjust to the Indian conditions. With the bat, his performances are nowhere near the level he was at during the Big Bash. In the Big Bash, he managed over 250 runs at a strike rate of 180, to date in the IPL, he has only scored 3 runs in his 3 matches to date.

It was with the ball where Christian started against Chennai. It was an uneventful two overs for Christian, while he did not take any wickets only going for 12 was an excellent effort. As a sixth or 7th bowling option for RCB, he did a fantastic job, unfortunately, it was after he finished bowling when Ravindra Jadeja took the match away from RCB.

With the bat, Christian was disappointing, in the middle of a collapse Christian took an unnecessary risk. Jadeja is one of if not the best fielders in the world. Christian took a run against his arm and came up short. A run out for only 1 did not help Bangalore during the collapse. Christian will likely find himself out of the side after this performance.

Glenn Maxwell: As one of only 3 of Bangalore’s batters to make it into double figures, Maxwell can hardly be to blame for this loss. Maxwell managed to make 22 from 15 balls before he was bowled by Jadeja, who played the match of his life. On his way to the 22, Maxwell struck 3 sweet fours.

Unfortunately for Maxwell and Bangalore with 37 coming from Chennai final over, the momentum was always with Chennai. Bangalore needs to put this match behind them and move on to compete in the playoffs and go deep into the tournament.

Ravi Jadeja played the game of his life against RCB, 62 with the bat and 3 wickets

Match 20 Sunrisers Hyderabad v Delhi Capitals

Delhi won the toss and elected to bat.

DC 4-159 (20 overs) 0-8 super over defeated SRH 7-159 (20 overs) 0-7 super over

DC Prithvi Shaw 53 SRH Siddarth Kaul 2-31 (4 overs)

SRH Kane Williamson 66 DC Avesh Khan 3-34 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

Steve Smith- It has been a gradual start for the former Australian captain. He has managed to increase his scores in every match played. He managed to make his way to 34 from 25 balls, a solid inning from a class batsman. While he was left out early in the IPL, it is evident that Smith belongs at this level.

The only question that remains is Smith’s strike rate. While he did finish not out it is now expected that batters score at 2 a ball at the death. Smith does not seem that have that ability. Delhi would still prefer to have his class in the side and score slower than not have him at all.

Marcus Stoinis: It has been an up-and-down start to the IPL for Stoinis, enjoying a different role than he usually plays. Batting at 6 and occasionally opening the bowling Stoinis is showing his versatile skills. With the bat he came in with only 1 over to play, he managed to face 2 balls and score 2 runs, a short inning without a huge impact.

He also did not make a huge impact with the ball only given one over. 12 came from the over, which only included 2 dot balls. A forgettable match for Stoinis in what was one of the most entertaining matches overall.

David Warner– It was a quiet match in what has been a consistent season for Warner. He has been plagued with being run out and today was no different. The Warner and Bairstow opening combination is one of the fastest in the IPL in terms of running between the wickets. It seems that Warner may still be slightly hampered by the groin injury that disrupted his Australian summer.

Warner only managed 6 runs from 8 balls against Delhi before being run out. It was a slow start for Warner, which he is afforded by Bairstow scoring at over 200 in almost every match. He also came back out during the super over, this was also disappointing for him only 2 from 3 balls. As captain Warner chose to send himself out, perhaps the better choice would have been to send Bairstow out who was hitting big from ball one.

Match 21 Punjab Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR won the toss and elected to bowl.

PK 9-123 (20 overs) defeated by KKR 5-126 (16.4 overs)

PK Mayank Agarwal 31 KKR Prasidh Krishna 3-30 (4 overs)

KKR Eoin Morgan 47 PK Moises Henriques 1-5 (1 over)

Australian Performers

Moises Henriques– It has been a very different season for Henriques. Over the last few years, he has predominantly been a batsman, but he seems to be used more as a bowler this season for Punjab.

He has bowled more overs in this IPL than in the last 3 years of the BBL. But it was with the bat where Henriques started against KKR, he managed only 2, continuing his lean run with the bat. Batting against one of the world’s most difficult spinners in Sunil Narine. Henriques lost his stumps being bowled. He later took the new ball for Punjab in what was his only over. Henriques managed the key wicket of Nitish Rana and only went for 5 from the over. It was an excellent start for Henriques, who should count himself unlucky for not getting a second over.

Pat Cummins– The biggest issue for Cummins this season has been his economy rate. This was once again a problem for him against Punjab.

Punjab only managed to score at 6 per over for the innings, but against Cummins, this rose to over 10. However, he did manage 2 crucial wickets against Punjab. He got the key wicket of KL Rahul, and then he got Ravi Bishnoi who fell to Cummins.

While wickets are crucial for Cummins, this economy rate issue will continue to be a huge problem, especially when it comes down to the season’s pointy end. His figures of 3 overs 2-31 are not good enough for an elite fast bowler such as Cummins.

Match 22 Delhi Capitals v Royal Challengers Bangalore

DC won the toss and elected to bowl.

RCB 5-171 (20 overs) defeated DC 4-170 (20 overs)

RCB AB de Villiers 75 DC Avesh Khan 1-24 (4 overs)

DC Rishabh Pant 58 RCB Harshal Patel 2-37 (4 overs)

Australian Performers

 Glenn Maxwell: Coming in at 2-30 during the powerplay, Maxwell had to play a different kind of innings than he has so far in the tournament. He was required to stabilize the innings and build a base for hitting later. Maxwell did, however, play some of his conventional shots striking 2 huge sixes to go along with his lone boundary. He made his way along to 25 before hitting a ball down the throat of Steve Smith, who fielded excellently at long-on. It was a crucial innings for Maxwell, showing his different skills and setting up a platform for de Villiers to hit at the end.

Daniel Sams: The fast-bowling all-rounder was in for his first match after recovering from COVID earlier in the competition. Sams was in, replacing Dan Christian, who had a slow start to the tournament. Sams was required with the bat, to begin with, coming in with only 2 overs to go his job was to farm the strike to de Villiers. This was a job he managed well only needing to face 2 balls in a partnership of 32. Sams finished on 3 not out. Sams opened the bowling and did well. 2 overs 0-15 while it was not penetrating in terms of wickets, a good economy rate is important too. He was unlucky not to receive a third over in a tight match.

Steve Smith- Smith started with an excellent effort in the field taking 2 important catches. Fielding at long-on, he took catches for the wickets of Glenn Maxwell and Rajat Patidar. Smith is largely an in-fielder for Australia, so it was good to see him perform well in the outfield. With the bat, it was the first disappointing match for Smith. He managed a boundary with his first ball to get off the mark, but that was his last scoring shot. He then faced 3 dots before being caught behind off the bowling of Mohammed Siraj. It was a wicket reminiscent of the Australian summer in which Siraj dominated with the ball.

Marcus Stoinis: It was a difficult bowling innings for Stoinis. Having not bowled for the day, Stoinis was called upon to bowl the final over to the in-form freak show that is Ab de Villiers. 23 runs came from that 20th over as Stoinis was visibly frustrated.

de Villiers is still one of the most dynamic batsman in the world and bowling the 20th over to him was an impossible task. Having the chance to redeem himself with the bat Stoinis played well getting a start but could not go on with it. Coming in at 3-47 chasing 171, Stoinis needed to score quickly but he struggled to find gaps. 22 from 17 was how Stoinis finished, getting out in the 13th over with 92 on the board. It was not a bad match for Stoinis, although he could not get Delhi over the line in the end.

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