Four Perth Scorchers have headed to the subcontinent with the 2017 Indian Premier League set to commence on Wednesday night.
Mitchell Johnson (Mumbai Indians), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab) and Andrew Tye (Gujarat Lions) represent the Scorchers’ Indian legion.
The next question is how will they fare and will they play regularly?
It’s pertinent for all four who will be pushing to make the XI but with no guarantees.
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Mitchell Johnson (Mumbai Indians)
Johnson returns to Mumbai where he helped the side win the 2013 IPL title, having been let go by Kings XI Punjab after only playing three games last year.
The veteran’s return comes largely following his outstanding BBL|06 campaign with the Scorchers, having played only BBL and IPL cricket in the past 12 months.
With that in mind, Johnson’s selection seems speculative but that was also the case prior to BBL|06.
He has competition with Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah among the Mumbai fast bowling ranks but the former is yet to arrive in Mumbai, so Johnson may get a shot early, rivalling New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan for a chance.
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Shaun Marsh (Kings XI Punjab)
Marsh returns to Kings XI for the 10th consecutive season but looms slightly on the fringes of the first XI, with plenty of competition for the four international spots.
The left-handed batsman scored 154 runs from six games in last year’s IPL where he headed home early due to a back injury.
With only four internationals permitted to play per match, Marsh has plenty of competition particularly with the bat, with captain Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Darren Sammy, Hashim Amla, Marcus Stoinis, Eoin Morgan and Martin Guptill among the options.
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Nathan Coulter-Nile (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Coulter-Nile may have missed all of the Australian summer due to a back injury but he is fit again and available to line up for KKR, with ex-Scorcher Simon Katich working as their assistant.
The 29-year-old was in promising form for the Delhi Daredevils in last year’s IPL before a hamstring injury ended his tournament.
Delhi moved on from Coulter-Nile, who has competition in the form of Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav and Trent Boult, but may get a shot given his all-round ability.
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Andrew Tye (Gujarat Lions)
Tye heads to the IPL with a confidence boost after winning the Simon Katich Medal at Friday’s WA end-of-season awards, but it’s hard to see him breaking into the XI just yet.
The 30-year-old is yet to debut in the IPL despite spending 2015 with Chennai Super Kings and last year with Gujarat who finished top, before bowing out of the playoffs in straight sets.
Arguably Gujarat’s weakness is their bowling firepower which could open the door for Tye, but he’ll be battling internationals such as Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy, Dwayne Smith, Dwayne Bravo and James Faulkner for a start.
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