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IPL: How are England's stars getting on?

There was a time when England players were unable to play in the Indian Premier League, but those days are well and truly long gone.

Now they are key performers in the competition and, with the new season starting to take shape after a few matches, it seems a good time to see who is making the biggest impression and who is waiting to kickstart their campaign.

WhatIndian Premier League 2023
WhereMatches staged at 12 venues across India
WhenFriday 31st March - Sunday 28th May 2023
How to watchSky Sports Cricket
OddsLucknow Super Giants 4/1, Gujarat Titans 9/2, Rajasthan Royals 5/1, Chennai Super Kings 11/2, Royal Challengers Bangalore 9/1

Wood and Buttler leading the way

As the Indian Premier League looks towards completing its fourth set of fixtures, it is a simple conclusion to make that Jos Buttler and Mark Wood are the two England players who have made the greatest contributions so far.

There is little surprise that the swashbuckling Buttler has hit the ground running for the Rajasthan Royals, scoring two half-centuries in his opening three matches.

Those knocks included a 54 against Sunrisers Hyderabad that took just 22 balls and 79 against the Delhi Capitals. Both contributed greatly to thumping wins for the Royals and Buttler is emerging as one of the key players in their championship quest.

He is 6/1 to be Top Batter in the competition, with Harry Brook the second Englishman down at 100/1.

Meanwhile, no one took more wickets in the opening three games than Durham quick Wood, who has been one of the stars of the show for Lucknow Super Giants.

His 5-14 against Delhi in their first match contributed to a 50-run victory and he was unfortunate that his 3-49 could not prevent a 3-49 loss to Chennai Super Kings.

Wood is 11/2 to be Top Bowler in the IPL, with Moeen Ali down at 40/1.

Curran and others make slow starts

Sam Curran grabbed the headlines when he became the most expensive player of the IPL auction and better things will be expected by Punjab Kings as the competition progresses.

The left-armer has gone for an average of 9.6 an over so far and taken just one wicket, while an unbeaten 26 in their opening game against Kolkata Knight Riders has been his most telling contribution with the bat.

Moeen provided a notable performance for Chennai when he took 4-26 against Lucknow, which was the Super Giants’ only defeat from their opening four matches. It was a match-winning performance as all four were in the top five of the Lucknow batting order.

Adil Rashid took 2-23 for the Sunrisers against Lucknow, but could not prevent a five-wicket loss, while Brook is still to get going in his debut campaign, scoring a total of 29 runs in three knocks for the Hyderabad outfit.

Reece Topley took 1-14 in his only appearance for Bangalore so far, which was an eight-wicket win against Mumbai, while his Royal Challengers team-mate David Willey’s two wickets and unbeaten 20 were not enough to stop them galling to an 81-run thumping by the Knight Riders.

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Injury recovery the priority for some

Some of the biggest England names have yet to make a great impression on the tournament and all-rounder Ben Stokes is one looking to get back to full fitness.

He has scored a total of just 15 runs from two innings for Chennai, but his priority is to get into tip-top shape before an Ashes summer at home and it will be interesting to see how much bowling he does in the next few weeks.

The Test captain is planning on being the fourth seamer in the England attack against Australia and was pleased to have bowled an over without pain in his knee against Lucknow, even if he did go for 18 runs.

He will be expected to make a more telling contribution as the tournament progresses.

Another injured bowler looking to get back is Jofra Archer, who has missed 18 months of action following an elbow stress fracture and he has missed Mumbai Indians’ last two matches with discomfort in the same joint.

Mumbai are hopeful the issue is not serious and he will be back swiftly, so the England camp will be hoping for good news there too.

Joe Root is in the IPL for the first time and has yet to play for Rajasthan as he finds Buttler, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder and Trent Boult ahead of him in the overseas-player pecking order.

He will be hoping for an opportunity soon, while Liam Livingstone will be joining up with Punjab Kings shortly, having missed the opening games of the campaign with knee and ankle problems.

His presence should be a massive boost for the franchise as he scored 437 runs last season, including four half-centuries.

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