It’s that time of the year again, the IPL with all it’s glitz and superstar participants are back in action. The coronavirus pandemic means for the second season running the IPL will be played behind closed doors, this time though in India unlike last year.
Like every year, one expects to see the big names like Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah to turn up trumps for their franchises. And while the usual suspects are going about their job, piling on the misery on oppositions, there’s a clutch of newbies looking to make a splash.
The likes of Dawid Malan and Kyle Jamieson are among the newcomers while Australian Dan Christian, who’s had his go earlier, has unfinished business.
Here’s a look at some of the overseas players to look out for in IPL 2021
Dawid Malan – Punjab Kings
The World’s top ranked T20I batsman, Dawid Malan has been in fine form for England in recent months and is known to be a menace to the bowlers once he settles in.
The numbers he has racked up in the last couple of years are staggering — 1,003 runs (the fastest to this landmark) at an average of 50 and a strike rate of 144. Overall, he’s scored 6 T20 hundreds in 252 matches and more than 7000 runs.
In full flow, Malan is a risk-free stroke-maker against high-quality pacers but has had his share of troubles with spin bowling, often looking a clueless in the recently concluded white-ball games against India.
Malan, who was signed on for INR 1.5 Cr, has not played much cricket in Asia and will be keen to make his mark as he pretty much un-droppable anywhere else.
Playing in his first year in the IPL, one of Malan’s biggest problem areas is playing spinners, something he needs to overcome ahead of a T20 World Cup in India.
The Englishman isn’t a sure shot starter for Punjab, which means the pressure to perform at every chance will be higher.
Kyle Jamieson – Royal Challengers Bangalore
When India toured New Zealand before the coronavirus pandemic, a very tall pacer by the name of Kyle Jamieson announced his arrival in the international circuit, troubling some of the best batsmen with some top-quality bowling.
A year later, he was the second most expensive buy in the 2021 IPL Auction as RCB led by Virat Kohli saw Mike Hesson break the bank for him at INR 15 Cr.
The right-arm quick, playing in the 2019 Super Smash, picked up 6 for 7 in four overs. Those figures are a New Zealand T20 record, and they have been bettered by only three men in the entire world.
He is known to get good bounce of course along with good pace and has a mean fuller delivery in him. However, Jamieson’s career thus far has been a rather short one and the high price tag coupled with difficult conditions in his first year in the IPL is quite the test.
Jamieson was overwhelmed with the Auction and trusts his abilities. If he can stay calm in the high octane tournament, he could end up as one of the better bowlers in the season.
Fabian Allen – Punjab Kings
Brought in at the Auction for INR 75 lakh, Fabian Allen could become the steal of the season, giving his side some much needed fire power lower down the order. The right-handed batsman is quite useful against medium-pacers in the lower order.
The Jamaican is among the best middle-order batsmen in the CPL since 2018. And even though he missed out in the last edition, a low-scoring tournament, the promise and talent is there for everyone to see. Averaging 37.44 in his 14-innings CPL career, the Jamaica-born cricketer has scored 337 runs at a strike rate of over 181.
Allen’s left-arm orthodox spin-bowling is also impressive against RHBs, maintaining a miserly economy rate.
A fantastic fielder as well, Allen could just be what the doctor order for Punjab to have a better season.
Dan Christian – Royal Challengers Bangalore
At 35, when Dan Christian was dropped from the Delhi side in 2018, his stint in IPL looked to end as an unhappy one. However, since then he has won 4 trophies in the T20 format and is looking to add his 10th career title, with the franchise picked him only twice in 2013.
Signed on for INR 4.8 Cr by RCB, Christian is vastly experienced and one of the deadliest finishers in the game, second only to Kieron Pollard with a strike rate in the last four overs of 192.69.
One of the big signings for Virat Kohli’s side, Christian, a veteran of 347 T20s, however has not done too well in his 16 T20Is.
While he is dangerous with the bat at the back end of the innings, the Australian is also quite a handy option with the ball as a medium pacer. He’s picked 259 wickets in 347 games and has also been bowling well in the PSL earlier this year.
If Christian performs as per his recent numbers, it will definitely help RCB a lot and will also help him improve his IPL record.
Riley Meredith – Punjab Kings
The most expensive uncapped overseas player at the time of auction, Meredith is a highly rated young fast bowler from Australia. The 24-year-old strikes once every 18 balls in T20s and along with fellow Australian Jhye, the pair could play a similar role to what Rabada and Nortje do for the Capitals.
Meredith is coming off the back off an impressive BBL campaign where his pace and bounce helped in taking 16 wickets and maintaining an economy rate of 7.82 despite bowling a majorly in the initial four-over powerplay and often returning at the death.
Known to clock more than 150kmph with relative ease, Meredith’s pace and bounce is likely to set him apart in the IPL and could well pave the way for a spot in the Australia squad at the T20 World Cup.
However, since the Auction he has made his international debut for the Australians against New Zealand, picking 4 wickets in 3 games and staying close to his numbers from non-international T20s as well.
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