Ever since the first ever match of the IPL, back in March 2008, overseas players have lit up the tournament and how. Brendan McCullum’s unbelievable innings of 158 brought international attention to the IPL from the very first match, and was an indication of just how important foreign players are going to be in this tournament. Despite there being just 4 overseas players allowed in the starting lineup of any game, they have dominated their way to several IPL awards, winning 9 of the 12 Orange Cap awards and 7 of the 12 Purple Cap awards so far. 10 of the 12 Most Valuable Player awards given so far have also been won by overseas players, highlighting their importance to the franchises. Let’s take a look at some of the top-rated world-class overseas crickets to watch out for at the 2020 Indian Premier League.
10. Eoin Morgan – Kolkata Knight Riders
The England T20I skipper is one of the finest strikers of a cricket ball in the world. One of the most balanced middle-order batsmen in limited overs cricket, Morgan can stabilize an innings just as easily as he can rip apart any bowling attack in the world. Famous for his clean, big sixes all across the park, Morgan was one of the best purchases at the auction, and Kolkata Knight Riders have done very well to keep his price relatively low. Purchased for a sum of 5.5 crores, the pressure will be on Morgan to replicate his ODI and T20I form in the IPL after several mediocre seasons.
He has crossed the 300 run barrier only once in his IPL career, but is currently regarded as the best middle-order batsman in ODIs, and if he turns up as expected, KKR will definitely qualify for the play-offs, for which they are at 1.80 according to Betway.
9. Kagiso Rabada – Delhi Capitals
The fiery South African pacer will again be spearheading the bowling attack for a new look Delhi Capitals side this season. Rabada had a dream season last year, finishing as the runner-up in the Purple Cap race with 25 wickets in just 12 innings, and also bowling what was probably the ball of the tournament, a mesmerizing yorker which uprooted Andre Russel’s middle stump in a crunch super over. He has taken 31 wickets over the last 2 seasons, in just 18 matches, and is one of the most difficult bowlers to face on any given day. Rabada has elevated his game to emerge as South Africa’s bowling spearhead in all 3 formats of the game. The Delhi Capitals are one of the dark horses for this year’s tournament, and Rabada could have a huge say in their title challenge, while also fighting for his maiden Purple Cap.
According to Betway, the Capitals are 7.00 outsiders to win the tournament and 1.83 to qualify for the play-offs.
8. Jos Buttler – Rajasthan Royals
Probably the hardest as well as cleanest hitter of the white cricket ball, Jos Buttler is in a league on his own, when it comes to destructive wicketkeeper-batsmen. Buttler is more than capable to handle any bowling attack in all 3 formats of the game, making him one of England’s most important and consistent players in recent years. Buttler holds the record for the fastest century as well as the second fastest century for England in ODI’s, where he averages over 50. A late bloomer in the IPL, Buttler initially struggled for Mumbai Indians, but ever since he signed for the Rajasthan Royals, he was turned in to a opener and that led to an incredible turnaround in his form, as he struck 5 consecutive half centuries to help them qualify for the play-offs.
Last season he struck 3 half centuries in 8 innings before heading back to practice for the ODI world cup, where he again performed admirably to take England to glory. Buttler at his best can really change Rajasthan Royals’ fortunes, as currently they are the favourites to finish bottom of the table with odds of 4.00, as per Betway.
7. Kieron Pollard – Mumbai Indians
Kieron Pollard has been a mainstay in the Mumbai Indians side for a long time now, being one of their most consistent performers in the middle as they emerged as the most successful team in the tournament’s history, with 4 title wins. Probably the best fielder in the league, a reliable middle-order batsman who can take the game away from the opposition within a couple of overs at his destructive best, and also a wicket-taking bowler who can be very handy in the death overs, there is nothing Pollard cannot do. Pollard has broken the biggest six record several times with his immense power, and has also taken some of the best catches in the history of the sport, not just the IPL.
With over 2750 runs as well as 56 wickets in his IPL career, Pollard is Mumbai’s biggest overseas asset. With Mumbai Indians the favourites to defend their IPL crown again, with odds of 5.00 at Betway, the big man will need to step up once again to win his 5th IPL title.
6. Faf Du Plessis – Chennai Super Kings
The experienced South African top-order batsman has been remarkably consistent for the Chennai Super Kings in recent seasons. However, this season, he will need to be at his very best as the onus will be on him to stabilize the batting lineup after Suresh Raina pulled out of the tournament. Du Plessis has been a mainstay in the South African ODI side for a while now, and has scored over 750 runs in the last two ICC World Cups, more than any other South African player. Even in the IPL, he has amassed 1853 runs in just 64 innings, with an average of 31.41, with 12 half centuries. In the 2018 season, he singlehandedly led CSK to the final in what looked like a losing cause, as their entire batting order crumbled under pressure while chasing a meagre total of 139 against SRH in Qualifier-1. Du Plessis held his ground though, and scored a match-winning 67 off 42 balls to take his team to the final, which they eventually won for their 3rd IPL title.
5. Ben Stokes – Rajasthan Royals
Arguably the most influential cricketer in the world right now, Ben Stokes is already regarded as one of the finest all-rounders of all time. He is probably the only player, who can be classified as the best bowler of the team, best batsman of the team as well as the best fielder of the team on his day, in all 3 formats of the game, making him the complete cricketer. His all-round contribution which included as stunning century, led RPS to their first ever final and he was awarded the 2017 MVP award, something he would be keen to win again. In 3 seasons of the IPL, Stokes has scored over 635 runs and taken 26 wickets, highlighting his all-round capabilities.
That being said, he hasn’t quite hit top form for the Rajasthan Royals yet, and after his inspirational performances at the ICC World Cup 2019 as well as the Ashes Series against Australia later that year, he would be looking to get back to his best in the IPL as well, something that would definitely help the Royals to prove their doubters wrong as they are currently the favourites to finish bottom of the league at 4.00.
4. Pat Cummins – Kolkata Knight Riders
The most expensive player at the 2020 IPL auction, Pat Cummins is a Rolls Royce of a cricketer. Purchased for a whopping Rs 15.50 crores by the Kolkata Knight Riders, Cummins will straight away be competing for the Purple Cap. One of the finest pace bowlers of our generation, he is also a very handy lower order batsman who uses his mighty frame to strike some massive blows. Cummins already has 17 IPL wickets to his name while playing for the Delhi Daredevils, and will be looking forward to his second full season with KKR now.
With his blistering pace and test experience to back him up in tough conditions, he could be the game changer for KKR and help them qualify for the play-offs, for which they have odds of 2.00 as per Betway.
3. Andre Russell – Kolkata Knight Riders
Probably the biggest game-changer in IPL history, Andre Russell is truly a one man show. The 2019 IPL saw the very best of Russell as he smashed 510 runs in just 249 balls for a tournament record strike rate of 204.81! His season was studded with 52 sixes in just 13 innings at an astonishing rate of 4 per game, as he destroyed every bowling attack in an unprecedented manner. He even managed to take 11 wickets on the way, despite nursing a shoulder injury throughout the campaign, and was eventually awarded the MVP award for his exploits. Russell has the capability to change the course of the game with a 3 over dash with the bat or a couple of quick wickets with the ball as well, making him the favourite to retain the MVP award, an award he’s won twice already.
Kolkata Knight Riders are 1.80 to qualify for the play-offs as per Betway, but if Russell is at his destructive best consistently, it won’t be surprising to see them challenge for the title straight up, for which they are 7.50 outsiders.
2. AB Devilliers – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Mr 360, as he is often called by his legion of fans all over the world, AB Devilliers is a true entertainer, and an absolute freak of nature. A true legend of the game, ABD is arguably the most popular overseas cricketer in IPL history, with absolutely no haters. He often sees the cricket ball as a football, or that’s what it seems by the way he dispatches it to every corner of the field with such ease. One of the very few players who have been playing IPL since its very first match back in 2008, ABD started his career with the Delhi Daredevils (now known as Delhi Capitals), and was their highest run-getter in the 2009 season which was held in South Africa. However, his move to the Royal Challengers Bangalore elevated his game to the next level, and he led their batting charts for 3 seasons despite playing alongside the likes of Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle. ABD has scored 4395 runs in 142 IPL innings, with a devastating combo of a 150+ strike rate and an average of almost 40, with 3 centuries and 33 half centuries.
With RCB having odds of 2.00 to qualify for the play-offs and 7.50 to win the title, ABD is their last hope to take them to that elusive maiden IPL title.
1. David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Regarded as one of the greatest players in IPL history, and easily the best foreigner to grace the league, David Warner is one of a kind. The only batsman with 3 Orange Caps (he is also the current holder of that award), Warner’s consistency matched with a strike rate of above 140 is shockingly impressive. In just 126 innings, he has clocked 4706 runs at an amazing average of above 40, despite being an opener throughout his IPL career. Warner exploded on the IPL stage with the Delhi Daredevils back in 2009, and was a brilliant and consistent performer for them till 2013, when he moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad. Ever since that move, Warner has evolved in to one of the world’s most destructive openers in all 3 formats of the game. He was made captain of the SRH team in 2015 and has led them by example over the years, none more so than in 2016 when he single-handedly won the title for them with his inspirational performances and leadership.
He would be looking to lead SRH to a 3rd title and also retain his Orange Cap for a record 4th award. SRH are joint 2nd favourites to win the title at 5.50 according to Betway.