With the Indian selectors choosing a 'new-look' India squad for the tour of Zimbabwe, one based primarily on Indian Premier League (IPL) performances, it is pertinent to take a close look at the IPL 2016 statistics to check who played well and who fizzled out. So here's a look at the records of the 16-man Zimbabwe-bound squad in the cash-rich T20 league.
MS Dhoni (Captain)
Dhoni had an extremely forgettable tournament as a captain and batsman. The IPL did nothing except generate further murmurs that 'Captain Cool' is past his prime. Sure, he wasn’t helped by the atrocious record with injuries suffered by the Rising Pune Supergiants, but his Midas touch seemed to have deserted him completely. He however redeemed himself in the last match by hitting back-to-back sixes in the last two balls against Kings XI Punjab to pull off an unlikely win, ensuring RPS didn't finish bottom of the pile. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 284 runs, highest of 64 not-out, average of 40.57, strike-rate of 135.23)
Ambati Rayudu: Rayudu’s run in the IPL mirrored that of his team’s. In the initial stage of the tournament, he suffered from lack of clarity about role in the side. He was shuffled too much in the batting order. Soon enough, he settled into a No 3 spot and sparkling performances followed as he helped Mumbai Indians’ resurgence. But ultimately it proved too little too late and two half-centuries from the Hyderabad batsman weren’t enough to salvage MI’s campaign. IPL 2016 stats (13 matches, 334 runs, highest 65, average 30.36, strike-rate 120.14)
Manish Pandey: Pandey has been on the fringes of the Indian national team for several months now, even scoring an excellent match-winning century in Australia earlier this year. However, he suffered an attack of chicken pox during IPL 2016, missing three matches because of it. The illness clearly impacted his form and he could only manage double-digit scores six times in the season. But among them were two half-centuries and KKR had come to depend on Pandey at No 3, changing their team composition entirely in the matches he missed. IPL 2016 stats (12 matches, 248 runs, highest 52, average 31, strike-rate 135.51)
Karun Nair: The batsmen was one of the stars for Delhi Daredevils this season and played one of the best knocks of the tournament - an excellent match-winning 83 to help pull off a last-ball win over eventual champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was one of the only three players to play all 14 matches for Delhi and failed to reach double figures just twice. He has been picked after a series of consistent performances in the domestic circuit and will go in with high confidence in the Zimbabwe series after a consistent show in the ninth edition of the cash-rich league. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 357 runs, highest of 83 not-out, average 35.70, strike-rate 120.20)
Didn’t play in IPL 2016
Kedar Jadhav: Jadhav had a reasonably good IPL season in 2015, on the basis of which he made it to the Indian national side. But his international experience counted for little when it came to the star-studded RCB line-up this season and after four matches, Jadhav was benched. He hardly got an opportunity to shine, scoring just 41 runs though he was never dismissed. However, the last time Jadhav toured Zimbabwe, he cracked his maiden ODI century and he would look to take that confidence in this tour too. (Four matches, 41 runs, highest of 25 not-out)
Mandeep Singh: Played just one match for RCB, but didn’t bat or bowl.
KL Rahul: It must be tough for a batsman to come into the spotlight in an RCB team which featured the likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Shane Watson, but Rahul, with his consistent performances in the supporting role, did shine bright, scoring four half-centuries. Rahul is the only member who is part of India’s Test and ODI squads and the IPL showing has proven why he is so highly regarded. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 397 runs, highest of 68 not-out, average of 44.11, strike-rate of 146.49, five catches, four stumpings)
One of the few shining stars for the Kings XI Punjab, Axar was handy with the bat and very efficient with the ball. His best showing came against Gujarat Lions when he became the only player to scalp a hat-trick in the season. In all, he took 13 wickets at a time when his teammates were firing blanks. He also impressed with his end-overs hitting, and many felt he had done enough to deserve a promotion. Given MS Dhoni’s love of spin bowling all-rounders, Patel is the frontrunner to play this role in Zimbabwe. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 111 runs, batting average 15.85, highest of 36 not-out, strike-rate 144.15, 13 wickets, bowling average of 29.84, best of 4/21, economy rate of 8.11)
Rishi Dhawan: In an utterly forgettable campaign for the KXIP, Rishi Dhawan was as invisible as everyone else. It is saying a lot that the only thing most people remember about a man who was expected to bat and bowl for KXIP was the haircut he sported. At least he picked up two wickets and ensured he never got dismissed. It’s more than what could be said about others part of the franchise that finished bottom. (Two matches, 14 runs, 2 wickets, average of 28)
Jayant Yadav: For the first month or so, Yadav suffered from lack of confidence as the Delhi Daredevils team management opted to go for Imran Tahir, Pawan Negi or Shahbaz Nadeem. But with all options failing, skipper Zaheer Khan turned to Yadav and the off-spinner put in some decent performances. Although he could only pick up two wickets in the five matches he played, he usually bowled within the powerplay overs and managed to bowl with a rather decent economy rate of 7.35. (5 matches, 2 wickets, average of 62.50, economy rate of 7.35)
Chahal had an excellent IPL campaign, picking up 21 wickets to end as second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. He also briefly wore the purple cap. He had an average start, but soon enjoyed the confidence of his captain, and it showed in his performances. A 3/19 spell against Gujarat Lions was followed by a four-wicket haul against KXIP and 3/32 against Delhi Daredevils, to propel RCB to the second spot in the league stage. He also bowled economically in the IPL 2016 final and has thoroughly deserved his spot in the Indian side. IPL 2016 stats (13 matches, 21 wickets, best of 4/25, average 19.09, economy rate 8.15)
Jasprit Bumrah: It was through IPL that Jasprit Bumrah popped up in the limelight. He made his IPL debut three years ago but caught everyone's attention with his consistent performances in 2014. His rise since then has been fascinating. He has now become an integral part of the Indian bowling line-up. With 15 wickets in 14 matches in this IPL season — and though Mitchell McClaneghan was the star performer for Mumbai Indians — Bumrah provided him with good support. On the Zimbabwe tour, Bumrah will be spearheading the bowling attack and it will be a true test of character for him. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 15 wickets, average 27.06, best bowling of 3/13, economy of 7.80)
Jaydev Unadkat: Unadkat played just one match in the IPL this year, and it was a nightmare he would soon like to forget. Playing for Kolkata Knight Riders at the Wankhede, Unadkat conceded 49 off just three overs as Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard tore him apart. Luckily, that woeful performance did not hurt his chances of selection for the Zimbabwe tour. IPL 2016 stats (1 match, 3 overs, 0/49, economy rate 16.33)
The right-arm pacer has played eight ODIs for India, but this will be his chance to really cement his place in the squad. He will be high on confidence following an excellent IPL, where he generated surprisingly nippy pace and bounce and troubled the batsmen with his accuracy. His spell of 4/14 in the first Qualifier against RCB all but secured Gujarat Lions’ place in the final before AB de Villiers single-handedly took the match away from them. None of it was Kulkarni’s fault. He was flawless and deserves to be on the flight to Zimbabwe. IPL 2016 stats (14 matches, 18 wickets, average of 20.22, best bowling of 4/14, economy 7.42)
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Updated Date: Jun 10, 2016 16:05:35 IST