With the Big Bash group stage over we take a look at the form players who will be heading to the IPL in March…
Tom Banton – Kolkata Knight Riders
Englishman Banton set the BBL alight with the second-fastest 50 in the tournament’s history. This was his first appearance in the tournament and consisted of seven innings in the group stages.
Banton was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for 1.00 Crore in the 2020 auction and they were unchallenged in the bidding. This could prove to be great business for them if he continues in his current T20 form.
Prior to this he performed well in the Vitality Blast in England scoring 549 runs from 13 innings at an average of 43.23. In that haul, he claimed his first T20 century, along with 4 half-centuries.
Big Bash League Stats (7 innings)
Banton was also involved in a remarkable piece of fielding against the Hobart Hurricanes. Teammate Matt Renshaw handled the ball just inside the boundary while running backwards, before jumping mid-air to send it back over the rope and prevent a six. Banton was just inside the rope caught the ball after his teammate had sent it back over.
This lead to a lengthy delay while the rules were checked and the player was given out. This caused some controversy but was an impressive piece of fielding and quick thinking from Renshaw and Banton.
He’s also been in the press in the UK (Source) with Michael Vaughan suggesting he drops his IPL contract to concentrate on his England test career. This is unlikely to happen and we fully expect to see Banton in the 2020 IPL.
Watching him play in the BBL you cannot fail to be impressed with his performances with the bat as well as in the field. He has been scoring runs in T20 cricket for the last 8 months and is defiantly a player to watch out for in the IPL this year.
Marcus Stoinis – Dehli Capitals
At the end of the group stages, Stoinis is the leading run-scorer in this year’s BBL. He’s managed 607 runs in his 14 innings so far in the tournament and is an astonishing 158 runs ahead of Alex Hales in second place. His average of 60.70 is the second-highest in the top 10 just behind Wells whos average is boosted by 7 not outs in 13 innings.
Stoinis set the Big Bash alight with a new record score of 147 not out from 79 balls against the Sydney Sixers. This came on the back of a $7500 fine for being recorded making homophobic comments to Kane Richardson. Stoinis said he felt uneasy going into the game after this which seems to have focused him for the innings.
In this year’s Big Bash League when he has got in he’s done well and so have the Melbourne Stars. His form is a big part of the reason they topped the league with ease winning 10 of their 14 matches. Moving to opener has really brought out the best in Stoinis compared to batting further down the order. He’s not bowled for the Stars this year despite having a reasonable record as a bowler too.
Big Bash League Stats (7 innings)
If we look at IPL stats, his scores so far have failed to live up to these standards. His top score in his last four seasons with the Royal Challenges Bangalore has been just 52 and that was back in 2016.
He did show signs of the player he is the IPL 2019 with an average of 52.75 but that came from just 6 innings.
If he can bring some of the magic he’s been showing in the BBL to the IPL he could be one of the stars of the tournament for the Dehli Capitals.
Tom Curran – Rajasthan Royals
Tom Curran had one season in the IPL in 2018 and didn’t really set the world on fire. He was picked up at his base price after the auction as a replacement for Mitchell Stark for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
The all-rounder bowled a total of 61 balls and took six wickets. His economy of 11.66 didn’t really justify the rate he was taking wickets and he did not reappear in 2019.
In the 2020 IPL Auction he was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals at his base price of 1.00 Crore and that now looks like a good bit of business for the team.
He is the second-highest wicket-taker in the BBL Behind all-rounder Daniel Sams, who went unsold at just 20 Lakh this year. It will be interesting to see how Curran gets on in the IPL and if he can keep his T20 form going. If he can he will be a big asset to the Royals.