Australia have included a promising uncapped player on the books of IPL giants RCB for their white-ball tour of England, but who is Josh Philippe?
23-year-old Philippe is a right-hand wicketkeeper-batsman who represents Western Australia in state cricket.
He is relatively inexperienced at First-class level, playing only 19 matches to date and averaging 28.22, with one hundred.
However, it’s white-ball cricket he’s been selected for and it was in the Big Bash that he made his name.
After starting out with the Perth Scorchers, Philippe made the switch to the Sydney Sixers two years ago and has performed impressively.
The explosive keeper-batsman finished third on the scoring charts in the 2019/20 edition, with 487 runs at an average of 37.46.
A wide range of shots helped him to score at a strike-rate of just below 130, as he made five 50+ scores in just 16 innings.
It’s clear that he doesn’t mind the big occasion, either, as he smashed 52 from 29 balls in the final to earn the Man of the Match award and help his side to the title.
Those performances as an opener for the Sixers caught the attention of IPL giants, Royal Challengers Bangalore, who snapped him up in the auction ahead of the delayed 2020 edition of the tournament.
Philippe recently admitted he was shocked to be picked up by RCB.
“I couldn’t quite believe it,” he said, as quoted by cricketaddictor.com. “I’d been told I had a chance, but nothing is set in stone and people change their minds all the time.”
“It’s surreal; AB and Virat are two of the best in the world so it’ll be great to see how they train, play, and go about their business. It’s an amazing opportunity to rub shoulders with those guys and see how the best in the world operate.”
First, though, the ambitious youngster will be looking to make an impact in the international arena against England, having made the squads for the upcoming T20I and ODI series’.
He will have a tough time making the Aussies’ strongest XI due to the stunning recent form of Alex Carey.
Yet, he showed promise in the first of two intra-squad warm-up games with a score of 22 when opening the batting and he insists he’ll be ready to go if called upon by coach Justin Langer.
In sum, Philippe is a talented and exciting young player who, after months without game time, could make his Australia and IPL debuts in the space of a month.