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Aussies abroad: Cummins, Warner, Stoinis among the runs in the IPL, Bird Cook-ed again

A number of Australian players have headed overseas for the winter to play in the IPL and county cricket. Here is how they are faring so far

Alex Malcolm
David Warner made 61 off 45 on Sunday in the IPL  •  BCCI

David Warner made 61 off 45 on Sunday in the IPL  •  BCCI

Australia's tour of Pakistan and a lengthy domestic summer wrapped up last week with a number of players now headed overseas for the winter to play in the IPL and county cricket ahead of a three-format tour of Sri Lanka in June. Here is how they are faring so far.
Who's in form and who's not
David Warner has returned to where it all started for him in the IPL with Delhi Capitals, and after a slow start he produced a fine half-century on Sunday night to help Capitals breeze past Kolkata Knight Riders. Warner made a bizarre 4 off 12 in his first game against Lucknow Super Giants but blasted 61 off 45 balls against Knight Riders to help Capitals to the highest total of the IPL so far, and shared in a blistering 93-run opening stand with Prithvi Shaw.
It's been a mixed bag for Pat Cummins in his first two games. He has been hammered with the ball returning figures of 0 for 51 against Capitals and 2 for 49 against Mumbai Indians. But he produced a freakish 14-ball half-century against Mumbai - scoring an unbeaten 56 off 15 balls - to guide Knight Riders home by five wickets with four overs to spare.
Marcus Stoinis made a statement in his first game for his new franchise Super Giants, smashing 38 not out from 17 balls with four sixes in a losing cause against Rajasthan Royals. But questions were asked as to whether he came in too low. Australia's finisher, who bats at No. 6 in T20Is, came in at No. 8 for Super Giants when they needed 65 from 27 balls and they fell four runs short of their target.
Tim David and Daniel Sams have found the going tough at their new franchise Mumbai Indians. David was Australia's highest-priced signing at the mega auction and national chairman of selectors George Bailey confirmed last week he was being looked at closely ahead of the T20 World Cup later this year. But he has missed out in his only two games so far and was strangely dropped from a side that is frazzled and winless after four games. Sams has played three games but has twice conceded 50 or more with the ball, with Cummins assaulting him for 35 off an over.
Australia's first-choice T20I wicketkeeper Matthew Wade has had a lean start to his IPL return for Gujarat Titans. Having not played in the tournament for 11 years, he scored 30 (29 balls), 1 (2) and 6 (7) in his three matches to date.
Did you see?
In Jackson Bird's last Test match for Australia in 2017 he had to bowl 30 overs on a lifeless MCG pitch as Alastair Cook piled up 244 not out across 10 hours of batting. Bird faced Cook for the first time in five years as Kent took on Essex on a highway in Chelmsford in the opening round of the County Championship and Cook piled up his 70th first-class century, batting for two minutes shy of six hours. Bird got his revenge, dismissing Cook for 100. He took 3 for 85 from 28 overs as Essex piled up 514 before Kent replied with 581 in a tame draw. Bird also cashed in with the bat, smacking 53 not out off 46 balls - including eight runs off Cook's solitary over of medium pace - to register his fourth first-class half-century.
Injury list
Nathan Coulter-Nile has returned home to Australia after suffering a side strain while playing for Rajasthan Royals.
Meanwhile, Capitals coach Ricky Ponting was initially hopeful Mitchell Marsh would be fit for Sunday's clash against Knight Riders but he did not play as he continues to rehab the hip flexor he injured at training in Pakistan.
Performance of the week
It's not often the world's No.1-ranked Test bowler produces a 14-ball fifty with the bat. Cummins' pyrotechnics for Knight Riders showcased his tremendous development as a power-hitter in the IPL. It was his third IPL half-century and he strikes at 154.73 in IPL, and 141.72 overall in T20s, increasing his already enormous value.

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo