The full rundown of the 16 Australians in the IPL
There will be 16 Australian players and three Aussie head coaches involved when the 2021 Indian Premier League gets underway late on Friday
8 April 2021, 06:09 PM AEST
Barely five months since the 2020 IPL concluded, the 2021 edition is about to get underway.
Having been held in a bio-secure hub in the UAE last year, this season's tournament is back on Indian soil and in its traditional April-May window, although the competition will start with games played behind closed doors as the country battles another wave of COVID-19 infections.
Four players, including Australian Daniel Sams, have tested positive to the virus in recent weeks as India's daily case load jumped to as many as 100,000 a day.
However, officials remain confident the tournament can proceed as planned, with players, coaches and officials restricted in a biosecure environment and matches to be played at six neutral venues across India – in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad.
However, the global climate means this will not be a normal tournament and already a trio of Australians – Josh Hazlewood (Chennai Super Kings), Mitch Marsh (Sunrisers Hyderabad) and Josh Philippe (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – have all withdrawn from the tournament for personal reasons.
But with spots up for grabs in Australia's T20 squad ahead of the scheduled World Cup in India later this year, performances in this tournament could be invaluable for those hoping to feature at the 20-over showpiece event.
With the opening game of the tournament between Mumbai and Royal Challengers Bangalore to begin at midnight on Friday (AEST), take a closer look at the Australians involved, their auction prices, and their chances of being picked for their respective teams, with a maximum of four internationals allowed in each XI.
Prices listed in AUD. Conversion correct at the time the player was first bought at the auction
Pat Cummins: $3.16m (Kolkata Knight Riders)*
Glenn Maxwell: A$2.52 million (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Jhye Richardson: A$2.48 million (Punjab Kings)
David Warner: $2.3m (Sunrisers Hyderabad)*
Riley Meredith: A$1.42 million (Punjab Kings)
Marcus Stoinis: $980,000 (Delhi Capitals)*
Nathan Coulter-Nile: A$886,000 (Mumbai Indians)
Dan Christian: A$851,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Kane Richardson: A$816,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Moises Henriques: A$745,000 (Punjab Kings)
Chris Lynn: $408,000 (Mumbai Indians)*
Steve Smith: A$390,000 (Delhi Capitals)
Adam Zampa: $287,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)*
Andrew Tye: $204,000 (Rajasthan Royals)*
Ben Cutting: A$133,000 (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Daniel Sams: $38,000 (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Jason Behrendorff: TBA (Chennai Super Kings)
* player retained following the 2020 IPL
Chennai Super Kings
The Aussies: Jason Behrendorff
The other imports: Faf du Plessis, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Imran Tahir, Moeen Ali
The retirement of Shane Watson and withdrawal of Josh Hazlewood meant there was to be no Australians at Chennai this season, the only franchise to not have an Aussie flavour. Having played three games for the Super Kings last year after he was picked up at the auction for $408,000, Hazlewood had been retained by Chennai earlier this year and had been expected to return. But after a taxing summer spent in a bio-secure environment, the fast bowler has decided to remain in Australia and focus on winning some silverware for NSW before taking some time off. However, WA quick Jason Behrendorff was picked up on the eve of the tournament as Hazlewood's replacement and will head to the subcontinent after the Marsh One-Day Cup final.
Full squad: MS Dhoni (c), Suresh Raina, Narayan Jagadeesabn, Ruturaj Gaikwad, KM Asif, Karn Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Deepak Chahar, Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Mitchell Santner, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Imran Tahir, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, K Gowtham, Cheteshwar Pujara, M.Harisankar Reddy, K.Bhagath Varma, C Hari Nishaanth, R Sai Kishore. Head coach: Stephen Fleming.
The Aussies: Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Ricky Ponting (head coach)
The other imports: Kagiso Rabada, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje, Tom Curran, Sam Billings
There will be plenty of Aussie interest at Delhi this year with Marcus Stoinis again set to feature heavily, while there's an interesting subplot regarding the role Steve Smith will play in Ricky Ponting's side. Last year's runner's up are stacked with top-order talent and have plenty of international stars at their disposal, meaning Smith is no guarantee to get a spot in the XI. But having been let go by Rajasthan and with a World Cup in India on the horizon, the right-hander will not be lacking when it comes to motivation.
Full squad: Rishabh Pant (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes, Anrich Nortje, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Pravin Dubey, Vishnu Vinod. Head coach: Ricky Ponting
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Aussies: Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting
The other imports: Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Tim Seifert, Shakib Al Hasan
Pat Cummins has been retained on a big-money deal of more than $3m by KKR, despite a mixed return in his first season last year. And with gun Kiwi quick Lockie Ferguson one of several superstar internationals at KKR's disposal, Cummins will need to be at his best to just hold his spot in the first XI. Ben Cutting might struggle to fit into a middle order that will also feature Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell, but he's been a fine performer at the IPL before and will be a handy inclusion if called upon.
Full squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer. Head coach: Brendon McCullum
The Aussies: Chris Lynn, Nathan Coulter-Nile
The other imports: Kieron Pollard, Quinton de Kock, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham
The defending champions are again looking like the team to beat this season and the two Aussies in the squad will do well to win a spot in the side given the international stars at Mumbai's disposal. Nathan Coulter-Nile looks the most likely to play and will probably jostle with Kiwi Adam Milne for the second international pace spot (behind Trent Boult), but Chris Lynn is most likely to spend a second season on the bench, unless injury strikes.
Full squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neeshan, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar. Head coach: Mahela Jayawardene
The Aussies: Moises Henriques, Riley Meredith, Jhye Richardson
The other imports: Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Fabian Allen
A lot of attention at the newly-named Punjab Kings this year will be on the Australian million-dollar men, with Jhye Richardson set to play a leading role with the ball after he was picked up for close to $2.5m at the auction. Richardson's presence in the side might leave Riley Meredith ($1.42m) on the outer but expect to see both players get a taste of the action at some stage. And don't forget veteran Moises Henriques, who is arguably in the form of his life in all formats and remains a chance to play a role for Australia at this year's World Cup.
Full squad: KL Rahul (c), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Dawid Malan, Jhye Richardson, Shahrukh Khan, Riley Meredith, Moises Henriques, Jalaj Saxena, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar. Head coach: Anil Kumble.
The Aussies: Andrew Tye
The other imports: Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, David Miller, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Liam Livingstone
Having played just one match last season, AJ Tye might get more game time this year given England star Jofra Archer will miss at least the start of the tournament due to injury. However, South African Chris Morris looks certain to play after being picked up for a whopping A$2.88 million in the auction, while Bangladeshi quick Mustafizur Rahman is another handy off-season pick-up, meaning Tye could again be forced out of the XI.
Full squad: Sanju Samson (c), Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Andrew Tye, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya, K.C. Cariappa, Liam Livingstone, Kuldip Yadav, Akash Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Aussies: Dan Christian, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Adam Zampa, Simon Katich (head coach)
The other imports: AB de Villiers, Kyle Jamieson, Finn Allen
There will be four 'new' Aussie faces at RCB this year, including paceman Kane Richardson, who skipped last year's tournament to be at the birth of his first child. While all five Australians have genuine claims for a spot in the RCB XI, it appears Glenn Maxwell is the only certain starter after his big-money move, although the in-form Dan Christian is definitely in with a chance given the squad lacks pace-bowling allrounders. Richardson and Daniel Sams (once he recovers from his COVID-19 infection) will be battling New Zealand's $2.66 million man Kyle Jamieson for one of the pace spots, while Adam Zampa is also in red-hot form and ready to impress, if he can win selection.
Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kane Richardson, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat, Finn Allen. Head coach: Simon Katich
The Aussies: David Warner, Trevor Bayliss (head coach)
The other imports: Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Holder, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Jason Roy
David Warner is back to captain the perennially competitive Sunrisers side, who are hoping for a repeat of their 2016 title win. Warner's IPL record sometimes goes under the radar; the Australian has scored at least 500 runs in each of the past six seasons, an extraordinary run of consistent form for such a dynamic player who also has a strike rate nearing the 150 mark, on average. The withdrawal of Mitchell Marsh for personal reasons is a blow to their title hopes, but the likes of Mohammad Nabi, Jason Holder and Rashid Khan means they have plenty of players to fill the allrounder role.
Full squad: David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, Jason Holder, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Yadav, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Jason Roy. Head coach: Trevor Bayliss