Aussies target huge pay day in SL series

16 February 2017

Cummins playing for the Knight Riders in the 2015 IPL // BCCI

Five Australians could put themselves front of mind for the IPL auction with eye-catching performances against Sri Lanka

The opening two matches of the KFC T20I series against Sri Lanka this weekend could prove to be particularly lucrative for five Australian players, who may receive a handy boost to their bank balance on Monday afternoon.

An eye-catching performance in the opening two matches of the series, on Friday in Melbourne and Sunday in Geelong, would put the quintet front of mind when the big-money Indian Premier League auction gets underway in Bangalore on Monday morning (Indian time).

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Pat Cummins, Michael Klinger, Ben Dunk, Billy Stanlake and Ashton Turner are among the 30 Australians available at the auction, hoping to join the 17 Aussies already contracted for the upcoming tournament.

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The player who could well have the most to gain is Cummins, who is available for a reserve of approximately AUD$390,000 and looking to return to the IPL for the first time since 2015.

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And while the reserve prices of Klinger, Dunk, Stanlake (all approx AUD$58,000) and Turner (approx AUD$38,000) are markedly lower than that of Cummins, it's still a significant prize on offer for a two-month stint in the sport's most lucrative tournament.

It'll be a nerve-wracking day for those on offer, particularly as they're unable to watch the auction live in Australia and their fate is often known by others long before they find out themselves.

This was the case for Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh last year, who was waiting to bat in an ODI in New Zealand when a member of the Wellington crowd yelled out that he'd just became an instant millionaire after being picked up for a seven-figure sum by the Rising Pune Supergiants.

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And with the T20 squad due to fly from Melbourne to Adelaide on Monday afternoon, around the time the auction gets underway, it's conceivable that the likes of Cummins could switch his phone off flight mode upon landing and discover he's just earned a massive financial windfall.

"A couple of years ago I tried to follow it but I lost track and I think my name went through about four or five times and I started getting text messages," Cummins told cricket.com.au this week with a chuckle.

"That's how I found out last time. I've got no idea how it works, really."

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While Cummins struggled during his previous IPL stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders, he's confident having a full season of cricket under his belt this summer will ensure he'll improve should he get another chance this year.

And he says the fact that one of his main strengths as a bowler – his express pace – isn't as effective in India as it is in Australia means he's willing to adapt his game to suit the conditions.

"The last few times I didn't have a lot of cricket leading into it so it felt like I was a little bit raw going over there," he said.

"But this year I've played a lot of one-day cricket, a lot of T20s and I'm a couple of years older.

"I feel like I've got a few more weapons and also hopefully I can contribute with the bat as well.

"As a pace bowler you know your pace is not going to be your main weapon over there so you've got to learn slower balls and yorkers and different things.

"So in the space of five to six weeks you almost have to re-invent yourself as a bowler to try and be successful over there.

"It's a really hard tournament, especially for bowlers.

"You play so many games and the batsmen get so good at manipulating fields and hitting all kinds of bowling, so it's a huge learning opportunity."

With some of the biggest players in the world up for grabs at the auction and each franchise limited to just nine overseas players in their squad, the likes of Klinger, Dunk, Stanlake and Turner aren't favoured to get picked up, even at their low prices.

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But an eye-catching performance on the international stage this weekend could change that.

"You've got to be in it to be part of it," Turner told cricket.com.au.

"There's so many superstars floating around in that competition so if I was able to go over there and learn as much as I could in those conditions and with those players, it'd be a great opportunity."

AUSSIES IN THE IPL AUCTION (reserve price in AUD in brackets)

Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins (both $390,000), Brad Haddin, Nathan Lyon (both $292,000), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Dan Christian (both $195,000), Brad Hogg, Nic Maddinson, Callum Ferguson (all $97,000), Sean Abbott, Ben Dunk, Michael Klinger, Mitchell Swepson, Ben Laughlin, Billy Stanlake, Fawad Ahmed, Michael Beer, Ben Dwarshuis, Joe Burns, Sam Heazlett, Johan Botha, Ben Hilfenhaus, Alex Ross, Tom Cooper, Jack Wildermuth (all $58,000), Chris Green, Ashton Turner (both $39,000), Ben McDermott, Nick Buchanan, D’Arcy Short (all $19,000)

Australians already contracted for the 2017 IPL (17)

Rising Pune Supergiants: Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith, Adam Zampa

Gujarat Lions: James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, AJ Tye

Kings XI Punjab: Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn

Royal Challengers Bangalore:  Travis Head, Mitchell Starc, Shane Watson

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Ben Cutting, Moises Henriques, David Warner

About the Writer

 @martinsmith9994
@martinsmith9994

Martin Smith is a writer for cricket.com.au. He previously wrote for Yahoo!7 Sport and Fox Sports.