By Rohit Mundayur
New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) The league stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 13 was an attritional one with players struggling to regain form once they hit a rough patch. This has often resulted in teams, seemingly cruising at one stage, stumbling their way across the line.
There are players who got off the flying starts, only to lose their way over the course of the season while there were those who struggled to find form for much of the group stage and by the time they did, it was too late for their team.
IANS takes a look at six players who failed to fire in the league stage this season:
MS Dhoni (Age: 39, Team: Chennai Super Kings)
There was an added anticipation to the start of Dhoni’s campaign in IPL 2020 because he had not played any professional cricket for over a year and had announced his international retirement a month before the start of the tournament.
It ended up being Dhoni’s worst season with the bat for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the worst overall for his team as well. He scored just 200 runs across 12 innings, the lowest run tally he has ever raked up in an IPL season and his highest score was an unbeaten 47. The lack of a finisher was just one of many things plaguing CSK them as they became the first team to fall out of contention for the playoffs.
Runs: 200 @ 25.00
Shane Watson (Age: 39, Team: Chennai Super Kings)
Watson and Faf du Plessis’ 181-run partnership to lead CSK to a 10-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab in early October seemed like a return to form for the three-time champions and their star opener. However, it only turned out to be a false dawn, with Watson managing just three 30-plus scores in six innings after that. He announced his retirement from professional cricket after CSK’s final game.
Runs: 299 @ 29.90
Prithvi Shaw (Age: 20, Team: Delhi Capitals)
Shaw’s 42 off 23 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on October 5 prompted commentators to hail him as the next superstar of IPL. The performance followed up on scores of 5, 64, 2 and 66. However, the match against RCB was also the last time that he scored more than 20 runs in an innings this season. The scores in his next five innings read 19, 4, 0, 0 and 7. His poor performances led to him eventually being dropped in favour of Ajinkya Rahane for two matches before he was brought back and scored 10 and 9 runs in Delhi Capitals’ last two group stage games of the season.
Runs: 228 @ 19.00
Glenn Maxwell (Age: 32, Team: Kings XI Punjab)
Kings XI Punjab stuck with him throughout the season but Maxwell, the batsman, just failed to turn up. Maxwell’s highest score was a 24-ball 32 this season and that was also the only time he managed a score higher than 20 all season long.
Captain KL Rahul said after the match that Maxwell brings “balance” to the side which is why the team is sticking with him. “Glenn has been batting well in the nets. He is a great team man and we know the balance he brings to the table,” he said.
The word ‘balance’ was not what head coach Anil Kumble used when KXIP bought Maxwell during the auction. “…we needed a power hitter and we felt Maxwell was the right person to fill that gap,” he had said. Maxwell was finally dropped for the final league game and KXIP missed out on a spot in the playoffs.
Runs: 108 @15.43
Andre Russell (Age: 32, Team: Kolkata Knight Riders)
The 2020 IPL season will not figure too high in the travails of Russell in the world of T20 leagues whenever he calls time on his career. He came into the tournament with big expectations considering the bumper season he had in 2019, when he scored a whopping 510 runs at an average of 56.67.
Russell ended up doing a fairly good job for them with the ball until a knee injury ruled him out for much of the last matches of the season. But, it is the role of the power hitter that the West Indies all-rounder excels in and this year, he hardly got going. Russell scored a total of 117 runs at an average of 13.00 and his highest score was 25.
Wickets: 6 @29.17, Runs: 117 @13.00
Aaron Finch (Age: 33, Team: Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Australia’s limited-overs captain and widely rated as one of the best limited overs batsmen in the world, Finch still could make at least one more appearance this season for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and make amends for his rather disappointing outing in the group stage. Finch has scored 236 runs at the top of the order this season, often playing second fiddle to in-form Devdutt Padikkal. However, he has hardly had any considerable big scores by himself, scoring just one half century all season. He was dropped for the last three games of the league stage for Josh Philippe.
Runs: 236 @21.45
Pat Cummins (Age: 27, Team: Kolkata Knight Riders)
It has been a case of too little too late for Pat Cummins this season. He was the record buy of the season and came into it with the accompanying expectations and ended up taking just three wickets in his first 10 matches. This was followed by the last four matches in which he took nine wickets, including a four-wicket haul. But KKR’s slide in the second half of the league stage meant that they fell out of the top four and Cummins’ late surge could do nothing to stop it. He made a few valuable contributions with the bat, however, during his barren run, notably scoring an unbeaten 53 against Mumbai Indians on October 16 to drag his team to 148/5.
Wickets: 12 @34.08, Runs: 146 @20.86