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Aussies at the IPL: Who starred, who chipped in, who flopped across the regular season?

A handful of Australia's players have dominated the IPL while others have had lean tournaments

Alex Malcolm
Alex Malcolm
20-May-2024
The IPL playoffs have arrived and five Australians will be involved following the home and away season. Ahead of the playoffs and only weeks out from the T20 World Cup, here is how the Australians fared overall in the IPL regular season.

Top performers

Travis Head has been Australia's stand-out performer at the IPL this season even with his first-ball duck in Sunrisers Hyderabad's final regular season game against Punjab Kings. Head was the third-highest runscorer in the regular season with 533 runs from 12 innings including a century and four fifties at a staggering strike-rate of 201.13. His opening partner, Abhishek Sharma, was the only other player to pass 350 runs while striking at over 200. According to ESPNcricinfo's Smart Stats, Head had the second-highest total batting impact across the tournament behind Virat Kohli.
Jake Fraser-McGurk trumped Head in terms of strike-rate and batting impact per game as he produced one of the most extraordinary debut IPL seasons by any player. His 330 runs from nine innings with four half-centuries at an eye-watering strike-rate of 234.04 was even more remarkable considering he was a replacement player who might not have played for Delhi Capitals at all without the season-ending hamstring injury to Mitchell Marsh. Fraser-McGurk became the first player in IPL history to register two 15-ball fifties and scored another off 19 balls. Capitals will no doubt retain him ahead of the mega-auction where he could otherwise fetch an extraordinary price.
In a tournament dominated by batters, Pat Cummins has had an outstanding season with the ball and as captain despite the numbers not leaping off the page. He is equal 13th on the wicket-takers list with 15 but only two fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Tushar Deshpande, had better economy rates and the latter played six matches in Chennai where the overall scoring was lower and slower. Cummins did an excellent job as captain given he had never led in T20s before the IPL and he also made some contributions with the bat when needed.

Solid contributors

Marcus Stoinis had a good IPL but will probably leave a little frustrated he couldn't finish off as strongly as he would have liked following his staggering 124 not out at Chepauk which singlehandedly put Lucknow Super Giants into the playoffs equation. Stoinis' form tailed off, as did his team's, but he still made a century and two half-centuries and finished with 388 runs. His strike-rate of 147.52 was above his career rate but below the tournament average of 151.45. He made some contributions with the ball taking four wickets with an economy rate of 9.00 and appeared underused given he only bowled 14 overs for the tournament and did not bowl in seven games.
Cameron Green conversely has made a barnstorming finish to the IPL after being dropped earlier in the tournament and made an unfamiliar role his own at Royal Challengers Bengaluru to help them pinch a playoff berth. He made key contributions with either bat or ball in six of his last seven matches after returning to the team as RCB won six of them. He made scores of 37 not out, 46, 32 not out and 38 not out striking at 170.21 in the middle order in those seven games, after striking at 107.93 in his first five games. He took nine wickets for the tournament at an excellent economy rate of 8.82, having bowled in all 12 games that he played.

Under-performers

Mitchell Starc broke the record as the most expensive purchase in IPL auction history ahead of this tournament and his bowling returns have been equally expensive and underwhelming overall. There have been glimpses of the old Starc with bags of 4 for 33 and 3 for 28 being the two highlights among his 12 wickets from 12 matches. He has been quick to point out that all bowlers have gone for runs in the IPL and Eden Gardens was the third-fastest scoring ground this season for batters. But of the 38 bowlers to have taken nine wickets or more, Starc was one of only two to concede more than 11 per over and the most expensive among the top 26 wicket-takers. His pace bowling team-mates Andre Russell and Harshit Rana also took more wickets at a lower economy rate than Starc while bowling in the same conditions.
Likewise, David Warner did not perform to his normal high level and he was also exposed by the performance of Fraser-McGurk. Warner did suffer a frustrating finger injury that lingered deep into the tournament which kept him out of five games and hampered him in one he tried to play. But he was dropped for the last game of season despite being fit to play. Warner's season before his finger injury was solid but his scoring rate was not where it needed to be. He made a match-winning 52 in Vizag against CSK but struck at under 150 in each of the first five games and Capitals lost four of them on high-scoring pitches.
Glenn Maxwell had one of his worst IPL's ever to the point where he dropped himself midway through the tournament to save coach Andy Flower and captain Faf du Plessis having to make a difficult call that they ultimately might have made anyway. He was later recalled and dropped again having registered scores of 0, 3, 28, 0, 1, 0, and 4 at a strike-rate of 97.29. But as ever with the mercurial Maxwell, he was recalled for RCB's must-win match against CSK and delivered to help his side reach the playoffs. He smacked 16 off five balls in the final two overs and then took 1 for 25 including the key wicket of Ruturaj Gaikwad first ball of the innings. That boost of confidence might be just what sparks him ahead of the playoffs and the T20 World Cup.
It is harsh to have Tim David in the underperforming category given he was effectively neutered by the performance of Mumbai Indians' top-order in most of the games he played and was even relegated to No. 7 twice and No. 8 three times. However, his overall numbers were below his capabilities. He struck at 158.55 for the tournament, which is below his career rate and not that far above the tournament average. But he rarely got the chance to showcase his abilities when the game was on the line. In the four games Mumbai won he made significant contributions to two of them. He cracked 45 not out from 21 balls against Capitals as Mumbai posted a match-winning 234 for 5. He also contributed a vital 14 off 7 when batting first in a nine-run win over Punjab Kings. He was left out of Mumbai's last game, alongside Jasprit Bumrah, as they experimented with their line-up.
Mitchell Marsh didn't get the chance to build across the tournament when a season-ending hamstring injury saw him fly home after four games. But his outings were underwhelming given the form he was bringing into the tournament. He returned scores of 20, 23, 18 and 0, albeit at a better clip of 160.52 than Warner. But those performances were well and truly overshadowed by Fraser-McGurk. He also only bowled eight overs in four games and took 1 for 103, leaking 12.87 per over.

Scarcely played

Nathan Ellis was unfortunate not to play more for Punjab Kings. He finished the season with one game to his name and he took an impressive 1 for 24 in his four overs in Kings' consolation with over Rajasthan Royals. He was a victim of Kings' dismal batting unit as their bowling group took the most wickets of the tournament at the third-best economy rate overall with captain Sam Curran and Kagiso Rabada filling two of the overseas bowling slots.
Matthew Wade made the bold decision at the start of the IPL to remain home and play in the Sheffield Shield final for Tasmania knowing that he was not going to be Gujarat Titans' first-choice wicketkeeper. He ended up playing two games for the tournament as Wriddhiman Saha struggled but only made 4 off 6 against Royals and did not bat against CSK.
Spencer Johnson had gone to the IPL with some high expectations after being an expensive purchase at the auction given his relative inexperience. He did not bowl badly in his first five games for Titans. He took four wickets at an economy rate of 9.43 but probably did not strike as much as Gujarat had hoped, claiming a wicket in just three of his five matches at a rate of just one every 24 balls. He was squeezed out of the line-up as Gujarat opted for a more spin-heavy bowling attack later in the season.
Ashton Turner and Jhye Richardson only played three games between them for the tournament. Turner's two innings for Lucknow yielded 16 and 5 but they were his first games at any level since knee surgery last December. Likewise, Richardson's returned figures of 0 for 40 from four overs in his only game of cricket since a side strain ended his BBL in January. In the context of Mumbai scoring 235 for 5 at 11.70 per over, Richardson's returns were relatively good compared to his team-mates and some of Mumbai's quicks.

Alex Malcolm is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo