Indian Premier League 2020
How Australia's T20 stars have fared at IPL's mid-point
As the Indian Premier League reaches the halfway mark of the league stage, we take a look at how the Australians involved in the tournament have fared
13 October 2020, 02:53 PM AEST
The emergence of James Pattinson as a T20 spearhead and Marcus Stoinis as a middle-order finisher are the key performances by Australians at the halfway stage of the 2020 IPL.
There are 18 Australians still involved at the IPL in the United Arab Emirates – Mitch Marsh left the tournament early having injured his ankle – and each franchise has now played seven of their 14 games before the finals begin.
David Warner leads the run-scoring charts for the Australians, with 275 runs from his seven games as the captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad. And while he's hit two fifties, his strike-rate of 125 is the lowest he's produced in the IPL since 2011.
Warner's last match saw him dismissed by Jofra Archer – the fifth time in all formats that has happened this year – and although Warner weathered the new-ball storm from the England quick well, he was undone by pace as the ball angled in with him on the verge of a third fifty.
Marcus Stoinis has crashed 175 runs, striking at 175 so far this season, as well as taking six wickets at an economy rate of 9.88.
Stoinis, a top-order player for the Melbourne Stars in the KFC BBL where he was the competitions' leading run-scorer last summer, has found a new lease on life as a middle-order enforcer with Delhi this season.
It's something that will only enhance his chances of becoming a fixture in Australia's T20 team after he was installed in the role during September's limited-overs series in England.
His influence has directly helped the Ricky Ponting-coached Delhi Capitals secure three of their five wins, while his untimely run-out in their last start curtailed their run chase and cost them dearly.
The real surprise has been James Pattinson, who was a late call-up to the IPL after Sri Lanka star Lasith Malinga pulled out, and was immediately thrust into the starting line-up and hasn't looked back.
Set to move to the Melbourne Renegades for this summer's BBL, Pattinson's record in T20 cricket hasn't been outstanding, but his form this season has been.
In seven games, opening the bowling alongside either Trent Boult or Jasprit Bumrah, Pattinson has nine wickets and kept the economy rate to 8.25.
Pattinson, who himself admitted he "was surprised to get a game" would likely not have even got his opportunity if not for an untimely side strain to Nathan Coulter-Nile on the eve of the season.
Pattinson was in lockdown in Victoria when the Mumbai Indians squad first assembled, but has been on a hot streak since landing in the UAE, with his pace and ability to trouble batsmen bowling short of a length allowing Mumbai to filed an unchanged bowling attack so far.
Coulter-Nile, who was a A$1.63m buy at last year's auction, wasn't fit enough to play the opening match of the season, and Pattinson impressed with three wickets in his first two games, keeping the Western Australian sidelined since as Mumbai sit atop the ladder with five wins.
Steve Smith has scored two fifties in his 162 runs at a strike rate of 139.65 in captaining Rajasthan Royals to three wins, the most recent coming to snap a four-game losing streak when they beat Warner's Hyderabad.
Aaron Finch showed signs of regaining his best form in last night's match as he hit 47 on a difficult Sharjah pitch, and now has 171 runs at a strike-rate of 114 at the top of the order for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Sadly, Glenn Maxwell has had a season to forget so far with Kings XI Punjab, with limited opportunities in a middle-order although he has failed to grab his chances when coming in with overs to spare. Maxwell has 58 runs from his seven games, and is surprisingly striking at just 95.08 and is yet to hit a six this season.
But he showed his immense skill when, with just five balls to face in the final over of their game against Kolkata, he took them within a whisker – quite literally – of forcing a Super Over after a batting collapse above him. Needing six off the final ball, Maxwell smashed Sunil Narine towards the cover boundary only for the ball to land mere millimetres inside the rope.
Kolkata's prize auction buy, Pat Cummins, has been steady but not electric on pitches largely unhelpful to fast bowlers so far, with only two wickets from his 26 overs across the seven games.
While that means an unflattering average of 111, he is keeping it relatively tight, with an economy of 8.53 from his role split across overs with the new ball and at the death.
He's also been able to show his skills with the bat in limited opportunities, striking five sixes to boast a strike rate of 173.8 as he's put up 73 runs.
And 39-year-old veteran Shane Watson has put up 199 runs with a top of 83 not out while striking at 125.15 form his seven games at the top of the order for the Chennai Super Kings.
Elsewhere, a glut of Australians have had limited opportunities. Alex Carey made his IPL debut in Delhi's last game but can expect more games while Rishabh Pant recuperates from a hamstring injury. Carey scored 11 runs, and took a catch in his one game so far.
His wicketkeeping rival Josh Philippe played two matches for Bangalore early on in the tournament but has had minimal impact so far. Coming in with just three balls remaining in his first knock at No.6, Philippe scored 1, and was out lbw for a three-ball duck in his second innings, a dismissal that clearly frustrated the 23-year-old after he had been elevated to No.3.
Adam Zampa also played two matches early in the tournament for Bangalore, but managed just one wicket while conceding 80 runs from his seven overs for an economy rate of 11.42.
Josh Hazlewood (0-28 for Chennai) and Andrew Tye (1-50 for Rajashtan) have both played a solitary match so far.
In addition to Coulter-Nile, there four other Australians who are yet to see any game time in the IPL, including Brisbane Heat master blaster Chris Lynn, who has been unused by Mumbai. Billy Stanlake (Sunrisers), Chris Green (Kolkata) and Daniel Sams (Delhi) have also yet to appear in the 2020 season.
A mid-season transfer window is now open for any players that have appeared in two or less games, which could open opportunities for some of the idle Australians to make more of an impact.