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Which English stars are set to feature at the 2019 IPL?

by Louis Moen 6 minute read

England’s renaissance as an all-conquering white-ball outfit has seen a dramatic increase in victories, but also in the number of players trying their luck in T20 leagues around the world.

The IPL is no different, but which English players are actually involved?

Moeen Ali, Worcestershire, all-rounder, 31

Retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore

IPL stats: Five matches, 77 runs at 19.25, 3 wickets at 32.33
IT20 stats: 25 matches, 235 runs at 14.68, 15 wickets at 34.60

Fluent left-handed batsman and off-spinner Moeen has all the requisite skills to be a successful IPL all-rounder. His T20 stats do not set the world alight, and game time may be limited due to the plethora of quality overseas players that Bangalore possess – including AB de Villiers and West Indian young gun Shimron Hetmyer – but his rapid 65 against Sunrisers last year suggests he can still contribute.

Jofra Archer, Sussex, fast-bowler, 23

Archer returned match-winning figures of 3-22 in his first IPL game

Retained by Rajasthan Royals

IPL stats: 10 matches, 15 wickets at 21.66
IT20 stats: None

Archer may not be an international cricketer just yet, but that hasn’t stopped him from showcasing his supreme athleticism across various T20 leagues. Snapped up by Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 auction for over £800,000, the Royals will be hoping he can build on his impressive debut campaign which saw him pick up 15 wickets. If he performs to his full potential, don’t be surprised if Archer’s name appears in England’s World Cup squad come May.

Jonny Bairstow, Yorkshire, wicketkeeper-batsman, 29

"We set our stall out to be No.1 in the world and that's where we are" – Bairstow

Bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 2.2 crore

IPL stats: None
IT20 stats: 27 matches, 396 runs at 24.75, 23 catches

The fact that Sunrisers Hyderabad were still willing to fork out INR 2.2 crore for Bairstow’s services, despite his limited availability, speaks volumes about the destructive capabilities of his batting. His remarkable 84 from just 24 balls for Kerala Knights in the recently concluded T10 League seems to validate Sunrisers’ confidence, and highlights his match-winning potential. It would be foolish to bet against Bairstow making a significant impact in the competition.

Sam Billings, Kent, wicketkeeper-batsman, 27

Retained by Chennai Super Kings

IPL stats: 21 matches, 334 runs at 18.55, 12 catches
IT20 stats: 18 matches, 209 runs at 13.06, 11 catches and one stumping

Kent captain Sam Billings has never quite followed through on the promise he showed when smashing 135 off 58 balls against Somerset back in 2014, but his appearance in many different global T20 leagues is evidence of a strong reputation. Opportunities at the top of the order may be scarce as Chennai Super Kings look to defend last year’s title, yet his ability as a finisher could well result in a middle-order role. Look out for his trademark sweep shot off the pace bowlers.

Jos Buttler, Lancashire, wicketkeeper-batsman, 28

Apart from Jos Buttler no one did consistently well with the bat for Rajasthan Royals in the 2018 season

Retained by Rajasthan Royals

IPL stats: 37 matches, 1075 runs at 34.67, 17 catches and one stumping
IT20 stats: 66 matches, 1260 runs at 26.80, 23 catches and four stumpings

Jos Buttler’s recent emergence as a Test match batsman of substantial quality cemented his status as one of England’s most important players. Of course, his penchant for audacious scoops and ramps in the shorter formats has long since proved how ridiculously good he actually is, and ever since carving out a role as an IPL opener, his performances have gone from strength to strength. A place near the top of the run-scoring charts beckons.

Sam Curran, Surrey, all-rounder, 20

Bought by Kings XI Punjab for INR 7.2 crore

IPL stats: None
IT20 stats: None

A remarkable year for the Northampton-born whizz-kid was capped off by becoming the most expensive overseas signing at this year’s auction. Curran’s extraordinary debut series for England against India, which saw him pick up the Player of the Series award, put many IPL sides on red alert, before Kings XI Punjab fought off the competition to secure his services. His lack of high-quality T20 experience is the only sticking point.

Joe Denly, Kent, all-rounder, 32

Bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 1 crore

IPL stats: None
IT20 stats: Six matches, 40 runs at 6.66, five wickets at 5.60

Joe Denly’s recent resurgence as a leg-spinning all-rounder precipitated his inclusion in England’s touring sides to Sri Lanka. His T20 performances over the last couple of years impress; 4/19 for England in Colombo was a particular highlight, but there was also an incredible century and hat-trick double at the Oval in the T20 Blast. While he may not be a walk-in starter for Kolkata, the Kent faithful will certainly concur that Denly has the quality to be an IPL success.

Harry Gurney, Nottinghamshire, fast-bowler, 32

Bought by Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 75 lakhs

IPL stats: None
IT20 stats: 2 matches, 3 wickets at 18.33

While an exclamatory “you’ve been sold!” displayed his wife’s surprise, Gurney’s consistently excellent performances over nearly a decade in county cricket suggest that perhaps the real surprise is that an IPL deal did not come sooner. His outstanding 4/17 in the T20 Blast final in 2017 demonstrates that he possesses the crucial quality of delivering under high pressure. That being said, it’s unlikely he will play over the likes of Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson in the Knight Riders’ talented side.

Liam Livingstone, Lancashire, batsman, 25

Bought by Rajasthan Royals for INR 50 lakhs

IPL stats: None
IT20 stats: 2 matches, 16 runs at 8.00

Livingstone first made people sit up and take notice after blitzing a frankly mind-boggling 350 off 138 balls for Nantwich CC in the Royal London Club Championship. He has not looked back since; two centuries for the England Lions in Sri Lanka and a full England T20 debut against South Africa prove his triple-hundred was no flash in the pan. His lack of experience, though, will count against him in the fight for a regular spot, so don’t expect to see too much of him.

Ben Stokes, Durham, all-rounder, 27

Retained by Rajasthan Royals

IPL stats: 25 matches, 512 runs at 23.27, 20 wickets at 30.95
IT20 stats: 23 matches, 232 runs at 15.46, 10 wickets at 49.60

A maiden T20 hundred in last year’s IPL propelled Ben Stokes into the elite bracket of IPL overseas players. He is an all-rounder in every sense of the word, with an eye-catching ability to turn a match on its head at any moment with his powerful stroke-making, fearsome seam-bowling and dynamic fielding. His presence in Rajasthan’s squad completes a strong English contingent which includes Buttler, Archer and Livingstone.

David Willey, Yorkshire, all-rounder, 28

Retained by Chennai Super Kings

IPL stats: 3 matches, 2 wickets at 47.50
IT20 stats: 24 matches, 152 runs at 12.66, 28 wickets at 24.67

David Willey is a T20 tour-de-force, equally likely to muscle a huge six as he is to knock over an opposition batsman with an inswinging yorker. He has been an ever-present in England’s limited over squads for the past three years, and with some justification; he has been a stellar presence for  Yorkshire, batting in the top-order and opening the bowling for their T20 side. A similar role at Chennai is unlikely, though, but watch out for some cameo appearances at the back end of the tournament.

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