By Khurram Habib
New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) The Australian squad that plays India in this month’s white ball series Down Under will be more rested as compared to the Indian team, as half of the Australians featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs have hardly played much in the T20 league.
As against them, most of the Indians in the playoffs have been an integral part of their teams, and have played all the games.
As many as 10 members out of the Australian squad of 18 for the white ball series have played the IPL this season, with six of those players remaining in the playoffs. Among those in the playoffs, only a couple — Delhi Capitals’ (DC) Marcus Stoinis and SunRisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner — have played all 14 games for the franchises.
Aussie limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch has played 11 out of 14 games for RCB, with his last game being on October 25. He has thus already got a 10-day break, even if RCB decide to field him in the Eliminator on Friday night.
Alex Carey (three games for DC), Adam Zampa (two games for RCB), and Daniel Sams (two games for DC) have been used sparingly as the teams haven’t been in need of them.
Incidentally, the coaches of three of the franchises in the play-offs are Australians. Ricky Ponting is the head coach of DC, Simon Katich coaches RCB, and Andrew McDonald, who is Aussie coach Justin Langer’s right-hand man, has coached Mumbai Indians to the top of the table.
Langer had, in a press meet last week, emphasised the need to have inputs and help from coaches in IPL like McDonald.
Cricket Australia, it has been learnt, has also sent a support staff to ensure the players whose teams are out of tournament get enough training and rest. These players are Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins.
These four will leave the United Arab Emirates for Australia with the remaining six players next Thursday and then undergo quarantine on arrival in Sydney.
Compared to Australia, all 19 members of India’s squad for white-ball series played in the IPL and most of them were regular members of their IPL teams.
Unlike Australia’s six, 10 members of India’s white ball series squad are part of the four teams in the play-offs and they are integral part of the teams.
Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, and Yuzvendra Chahal have all played 14 games for their franchises and will most likely play all the games in the play-offs.
Hardik Pandya has played 12 matches and Jasprit Bumrah 13, and both will likely play all games in playoffs for MI.
Among others in playoffs, Navdeep Saini has featured in 12 games for RCB while Shardul Thakur in nine for Chennai Super Kings.