Sean Abbott (Sunrisers Hyderabad: 2.4 Crore)
One can’t talk about Sean Abbott without mentioning that his name will always be associated with the tragedy involving Australian batsman Phil Hughes.
It was Abbott who bowled the delivery that fatally struck Hughes, a freak accident that at the very least meant that batting helmets were improved and made safer than ever before.
And it says a lot about Abbott and his character that he was able to carry on playing after the incident in 2014.
So far he’s played just two ODIs and seven T20Is for Australia but that’s more a reflection of the competition he’s been up against- Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood, Tye, Richardson, Coulter-Nile etc- than his own ability.
At domestic level he’s been good in all formats but it’s arguably been in T20 and the Big Bash that he’s really shone.
Playing for the Sydney Sixers, he’s won several Big Bash titles and having played 94 matches, is the highest wicket-taker in BBL history with 125, overtaking Ben Laughlin during the 2021-22 season.
He played a couple of matches for RCB in the IPL a few years ago without making an impact.
But now 30 and at the peak of his powers, he’ll look to use all his experience to good effect.
Also a useful batsman at seven or eight.
Tim David (Mumbai Indians, 8.25 Crore)
Who’s the highest paid Australian in the IPL?
Is it 2021 T20 World Cup Player of the Tournament David Warner? Is it Aussie Test skipper Pat Cummins? Or genius explosive batsman Glenn Maxwell? How about bulky match-winning all-rounder Mitch Marsh?
It’s none of those. Because Mumbai splashed out 8.25 Crore to secure the services of Tim David. In the process he also became Mumbai’s highest-ever paid overseas player.
In truth, the question is a bit of a red herring because though Tim David does qualify to play for Australia, he currently represents Singapore.
An extremely tall and powerful man, he first caught the eye playing some cameos for the Perth Scorchers in the BBL, before being signed up by the Hobart Hurricanes the following season.
Classed as an all-rounder but very much a specialist finisher with brutal hits in the death overs as his T20 strike rate of 159 proves, he’s a sort of Kieron Pollard.
So it will be interesting to see how those two both fit into Mumbai’s XI and who will bat higher.
Has gained plenty of experience the past couple of years playing in the PSL, CPL and also for Surrey in the T20 Blast and the Southern Brave in The Hundred, which he won.
Now’s his chance to impress on the biggest domestic T20 stage of them all.