An exhibition of power hitting and wicket tacking has bounced on to our television sets in the last two weeks after the IPL rolled into town.
A host of England’s test hopefuls are busy fine-tuning their red-ball skills under mixed conditions in the County Championship but if there was ever a year where the IPL took precedence, it is this one.
The World T20 tournament takes places towards the end of the year so this is a wonderful opportunity for England players to stake their claim.
It is also a great chance for Eoin Morgan to understand the conditions better and to get to grips with what kind of players he’ll need in his squad.
So, without any further introduction, who stood out from an England perspective in week 2?
Jonny Bairstow – 173 runs @ 57
The wicket-keeper batsman has become a star of the IPL in the last few years and he is taking 2021’s tournament by storm too.
Bairstow has already racked up two half-centuries at this tournament and was on fire during week two, scoring 43 breathtaking runs from just 22 deliveries in the Sunrisers’ defeat to Mumbai Indians.
He then smacked 63* against the Punjab Kings in a crushing win for SRH. He batted alongside Kane Williamson and David Warner, looking in complete control of their chase.
Jos Buttler – 84 runs @ 21
The hard-hitting white-ball machine of Buttler has had a rather topsy-turvy competition so far but was one of the stand out performers from an England perspective in the second week.
With Ben Stokes sent home with a broken figure, Buttler is now opening the batting for the Rajasthan Royals and scored 49 from just 35 against CSK during week 2. That knock included two maximums and five 4s as he looked to kick start his tournament.
Moeen Ali – 133 runs @ 33 and 4/57
The star of the IPL from an England point of view has been Moeen. Unclear about the role he plays for his country, there is no doubting his position at the top of the order for Chennai Super Kings.
He is flourishing with the bat and smoked 25 from only 12 balls when his team swept aside Kolkata Knight Riders. The spinner then hit 26 from 20 against RR before picking up three wickets for just seven runs in a Man of the Match display.
How did the others fare?
It has been a mixed tournament for the rest of the England players at this year’s edition.
Sam Curran is continuing to shine and took 2 for 24 against the Rajasthan Royals, including the crucial wicket of Sanju Samson in week 2. He did, however, go for 58 runs in CSK’s high-scoring win over KKR on Wednesday evening. During that clash, a mighty 422 runs were scored.
White-ball skipper Eoin Morgan is leading KKR but has, unfortunately, had a difficult start to the tournament. He’s managed only 45 runs at an average of 11 with his side winning just one of their four games so far.
Chris Woakes has been in good form and has taken 5 for 82 throughout the tournament. The bowler went at a lick of over ten runs an over against the Punjab Kings in week 2 but he did take the big scalp of Chris Gayle.
Tom Curran didn’t play during week 2 while Liam Livingstone, who was signed up to play for Rajasthan Royals, has gone home due to bubble fatigue.
Jason Roy (SRH), Sam Billings (DC), (RR), Dawid Malan, and Chris Jordan (PK) are all yet to play. Jofra Archer has also been absent for the Royals as he recovers from injury.