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How are Australia's stars faring in the Indian Premier League?

The ongoing IPL sees a much-reduced number of Australians plying their trade, but there are still a number of players hoping to hit top form for the international action ahead.

A majority of the players selected for the first two Ashes Tests in England have opted out of IPL action, with several heading to county cricket to prepare fully for the red-ball challenges later this summer.

Veteran batter David Warner, all-rounders Cameron Green and Mitchell Marsh and fast bowler Josh Hazlewood are the exceptions.

Meanwhile, the likes of Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Nathan Ellis and Adam Zampa are hoping to impress with the 50-over World Cup taking place in India towards the end of the year.

Australia are 2.30 to win the Ashes series in England outright, while they are 5.00 to triumph at the World Cup.

Ashes selections enjoying their moments

Left-hander Warner had started to come under pressure for his Test place in recent times, but was selected by Australia for the first two matches of the Ashes series in England and has shown some decent at the top of the order for Delhi Capitals.

In eight matches to date Warner has made 306 runs at a strike-rate of 118.60, passing 50 on four occasions to head the run charts and averages for his franchise.

Of course the IPL is a different challenge to that of the Ashes on English pitches, but at the least the selectors can see that Warner remains hungry to prove that he has a future on the international stage.

There still remains the question mark over a batter who has only passed 50 once in his last 15 Test innings, even if they one occasion turned into a double century against South Africa in the Boxing Day Melbourne Test.

All-rounders Green (Mumbai Indians) and Marsh (Capitals) may well have major roles to play in England, with the latter having not played in a Test match since the Ashes tour of 2019.

Marsh does have previous against England, making two centuries in the 2017/18 triumph on home soil and his efforts for the Capitals so far this season show that he can still be a major impact player on his day.

Scores of 0, 4, 0 and 2 and only a minor role with the ball were not the way Marsh would have wanted to start, but his all-round display in a nine-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad showed his true potential.

Having taken 4/27 with the ball, Marsh then clattered 63 from 39 balls, only to see his side fall narrowly short of the 198 they required for victory.

Fellow all-rounder Green is very much a player Australia hope to rely on for some time to come and his batting skills are certainly showing up well with Mumbai, as he has made 243 runs from eight innings at a strike-rate of 152.83.

His seamers have proved to be a bit hit and miss, with his five wickets coming at an economy rate of 10.43, with the Indians 10.00 to win the IPL title.

The final Ashes squad member currently in the IPL is fast bowler Hazlewood, who has made just one appearance for Royal Challengers Bangalore, taking 2-15 in a low-scoring win over Lucknow Super Giants.

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Ellis shines among World Cup candidates

Ashes action may be out of the question for Maxwell, Ellis and Zampa, but all three will certainly have their eyes set on returning to India later in the year to try and help the Baggy Greens lift the 50-over World Cup.

Maxwell has been his usual self for Royal Challengers, belting 2623 runs at a huge strike-rate of 183.21, even if he has had to play second fiddle to the outstanding opening partnership of Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis.

His off-spin has not been utilised on a regular basis, while leg-spinner Adam Zampa has also found life difficult so far this season with the Rajasthan Royals, who are 5.00 to win the IPL.

Zampa has only featured three times in the IPL so far this term, although he has done quite well when selected, taking five wickets at an economy rate of 8.81 and he will hope to be given more opportunities during the rest of the tournament.

Seamer Nathan Ellis has enjoyed better fortunes and has certainly put himself forward as a major World Cup candidate, having made a strong start in ODI and T20I cricket for Australia in recent times.

Ellis has taken seven wickets at an average of 24.28 for the Punjab Kings, although an economy rate of 9.44 is perhaps a little higher than he would have liked.

And, with 12 wickets from four T20I outings for Australia on the sub-continent to his name, Ellis is showing that he has the skills needed to be a key figure at the World Cup.

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