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David Warner’s form at the top of the order for the Delhi Capitals is another ominous warning to the T20 World Cup sides aiming to knock Australia off their perch.
Perhaps with the extra motivation of playing his former team in Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner batted through the innings, making 92 not out from 58 balls in a knock that included 12 fours along with a trio of sixes.
Warner climbed to fourth on the 2022 tournament runs list as a result, moving to 356 runs at an average of 59 and a strike rate of 157.
It was a good night for West Indies representatives too, with Rovman Powell joining Warner in the onslaught and making 67* (35), with Nicholas Pooran making 62 (34) in response.
Find out which other players are priming for Australia 2022 with strong performances at the IPL.
Leg-spinner Rashid Khan holds the key to Afghanistan’s chances at the 2022 T20 World Cup and the crafty tweaker is showing signs of good form currently in the IPL.
While Rashid has nine wickets from 10 matches for Gujarat Titans, his economy rate of 6.92 is among the best for all bowlers in the IPL.
The 23-year-old is also making a strong contribution with the bat, with his most notable effort coming against Sunrisers Hyderabad last month when he smashed the final two balls of the match for six to help his side to a thrilling victory.
Afghanistan team-mates Mohammad Nabi (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Gujarat Titans) are yet to feature for their respective franchises.
While all-rounder Mitch Marsh has had an interrupted start to his IPL campaign at Delhi Capitals, he has showed glimpses of the form that saw him help Australia clinch their first T20 World Cup title last year.
Marsh missed out with the bat, hitting back to compatriot Sean Abbott in a caught and bowled dismissal, though claimed a key wicket in the Capitals’ successful defence.
The night belonged to team-mate David Warner though, who makes his push up the runs list in spite of playing two fewer matches than those around him.
Glenn Maxwell (160 runs from eight innings at Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Marcus Stoinis (90 runs for Lucknow Super Giants) have shown glimpses of their best so far, while experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood has 11 wickets to be Australia’s leading wicket taker at the IPL.
Experienced opener Jos Buttler is blazing a trail already at the IPL having already scored three centuries and three half-centuries for Rajasthan Royals.
In total Buttler has 588 runs from nine innings at an average greater than 65 and an even more impressive strike rate of 150.
You would have to think Buttler will be crucial to England’s hopes at the T20 World Cup later this year, although he has plenty of team-mates that are also looking good at the IPL.
Liam Livingstone has 293 runs from 10 innings with Punjab Kings, while left-arm seamer Tymal Mills has six wickets from five games at the tournament for Mumbai Indians.
Veteran Jonny Bairstow is yet to catch fire with Punjab Kings, having only managed 80 runs from seven hits.
Uncapped speedster Umran Malik is turning plenty of heads with blistering pace as well as 15 wickets from 10 matches at Sunrisers Hyderabad, and many are tipping the 22-year-old could be a part of India’s squad for the T20 World Cup later this year.
He isn’t the only bowler among the leading wicket takers at the tournament, with leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal currently leading all comers with 19 scalps for Rajasthan Royals.
Left-armer Kuldeep Yadav (17 wickets for Delhi Capitals at 15.82) and experienced seamer T Natarajan (17 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad at 17.82) have also impressed with the ball.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag with the bat for India’s bevy of stars at the IPL, with experienced duo Virat Kohli (216 runs from 11 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Rohit Sharma (155 runs from nine innings for Mumbai Indians) still struggling to show their best form.
Veteran lefty Shikhar Dhawan (369 runs from 10 hits for Punjab Kings), while fellow opener KL Rahul has two centuries to his name and a total of 451 runs for Lucknow Super Giants.
Experienced closer Dinesh Karthik has scored 244 runs at the tournament and has only been dismissed on four occasions.
Skipper Kane Williamson struggled to get going, dismissed for four (11) in Thursday’s affair.
A trio of Black Caps are doing well with the ball in India, with right-armer Lockie Ferguson leading the way with 11 wickets for Gujarat Titans.
Veteran seamer Tim Southee (Kolkata Knight Riders) has 10 wickets and fellow pacer Trent Boult (Rajasthan Royals) has nine scalps.
Aiden Markram continues his strong run, making 42 (25) in the defeat for Sunrisers, ticking over the 300-run mark at an average of 76 and a strike rate of 152.
Experienced pacer Kagiso Rabada is in ominous form as he continues to lead the way with the ball at Punjab Kings with 17 wickets from nine matches.
With the bat it is Quinton de Kock that is looking the best of the South African contingent, with the left-hander having scored 294 runs already for Lucknow Super Giants.
Compatriots David Miller (287 runs for Gujarat Titans) has impressed, while teenage star Dewald Brevis has 124 runs from six hits with Mumbai Indians.
Star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is in good touch at the IPL, having already taken 16 wickets at an average of 19 from 11 matches with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
It could be a spin heavy attack for Sri Lanka in Australia later in the year, as fellow spinner Maheesh Theekshana is also putting his hand up for a place in the squad with 11 scalps of his own at Chennai Super Kings.
Tall quick Dushmantha Chameera also has eight wickets with Lucknow Super Giants, while attacking left-hander Bhanuka Rajapaksa has 174 runs from six innings at Chennai Super Kings.
A large West Indies contingent continues to feature at the IPL.
Nicholas Pooran’s knock on Thursday joins a 64* (33) he also made against Chennai Super Kings.
Lucknow Super Giants’ Jason Holder was hit for nine off five balls by international team-mate Rovman Powell (Delhi Capitals) late last week when the pair faced off, with Holder (0/45) not enjoying his best day with ball in hand. Powell in the meantime has moved past the 200-run mark.
Andre Russell was dismissed for a duck in his last outing for Kolkata Knight Riders, while Alzarri Joseph claimed 1/42 in Gujarat’s win over Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Ireland, Namibia, Pakistan, Scotland and UAE have already qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, but don’t have any players featuring in the IPL.
The final two teams to qualify will be decided at the B Qualifier in July.
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Eye-catching performances in the ongoing edition of the IPL have been richly rewarded as India named their squad for the upcoming home T20I series against South Africa on Sunday, 22 May.