The 2104 IPL will be remembered for Glenn Maxwell’s manic hitting, Robin Uthappa’s remarkable consistency, Sunil Narine’s enduring excellent, Kolkata Knight Riders’ winning streak and that match between Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals.
At the other end of the spectrum are those that tried but failed, that came but did not conquer. Batsmen who struggled to score runs, bowlers who struggled to take wickets and some that struggled to do both.
We give you our least valuable IPL XI:
Gayle being on this list is the biggest surprise. His back injury is a mitigating factor but since Royal Challengers Bangalore persisted in opening with him for most of the IPL, and given the high standards he has set in the past, we couldn’t leave him off it.
Gayle played nine matches, failed to go past 50 even once, and scored just 196 runs at an anemic strike-rate of 106.52. For someone whose nickname is Gayle force, that just won’t do.
Gayle’s opening partner joins him at the top for our XI. Parthiv actually started off well but his form slipped so badly that RCB ended up dropping him for their final two games. Over his final nine matches this season, he failed to go past 10 five times, averaging
The diminutive wicket-keeper ended up with 205 runs at an average of 20.05 but over those last nine innings averaged 11.25.
With Gayle also struggling at the top, the failure of this combination goes some way towards explaining Bangalore’s up and down season.
It is a good thing Murali Vijay only opens for India in Tests because he would have lost his place in the side had he been part of the T20 squad. He was supposed to provide heft and directness at the top for a revamped Delhi Daredevils franchise, which had every intent of reversing last season’s dismal performance. Vijay produced a fifty and a forty in first four innings and then the runs simply dried up.
In his last two innings, Vijay reached his nadir – managing 5 from 8 balls and 8 from 12 balls. A final return of 207 runs from 11 innings with a strike-rate of 107.82 was not what DD was looking for when they bought him.
Karthik had his best season for Mumbai Indians last year. This year, he had one of his worst. Elevated to the captaincy when Kevin Pietersen was injured, he appeared listless and confused while directing his troops in the field.
His batting also failed to live up to both last season and his price tag. All too often when DD needed him to bed down and battle, Karthik would fall playing a loose shot. While DK did manage to go past 300 runs, he averaged only 23.21 and made just three fifties while batting at No. 4.
Kallis started the IPL in spectacular fashion with a match-winning 72. His next six innings produced 79 runs combined and half-way through the season he asked Kolkata Knight Riders to drop him. When your team puts together an nine-game winning streak on the way to the title with you on the bench, it isn’t a good sign.
Kallis also took just four wickets with the ball and that is why the greatest allrounder of his generation finds a place on this list.
Another highly rated international allrounder who failed to deliver. The Rajasthan Royals captain did not lead from the front this season. He chose to push himself down the order instead of opening the innings and that restricted his ability to impact the game with the bat. Watson scored 300 fewer runs this season than last at a strike-rate 20 points lower. He was also ineffective with the ball, taking just seven wickets in the nine games in which he bowled.
Then there was his not-so-insignificant failure to prevent Mumbai Indians from scoring 190 in less than 15 overs to knock Rajasthan out of the playoffs.
Here is how Alternative Cricket described RCB selecting Dinda for a must-win game on Twitter:
“The equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight and stabbing yourself in the face with it.”
That about sums it up. But if you want stats to back up our opinion, we will give you stats. He took five wickets from 31 overs, or less than a wicket a match, with an economy rate of 8.70. Strangely, Virat Kohli kept bowling Dinda at the death, when his economy rate spiked to 12.6.
The moral of the story is if you want to win, don’t play Dinda.
India’s newest strike-bowler was India’s biggest disappointment in this IPL. Shami has yet to show an ability to keep batsmen quiet in limited overs cricket but has shown an ability to take wickets. In this tournament, he did neither. He conceded 369 runs from his 44 overs while taking only seven wickets. That works out to a wicket every 6.17 overs, which is does not a strike bowler make.
In an interview with Iplt20.com, Awana talked about how bowling fast was what he does best and what he needs to focus on. Turns out, scoring runs off his bowling is what batsmen do best. Awana leaked 10.10 runs an over and his performance in the final when he went for 43 runs in 3.3 three overs sealed his place in this XI.
Mishra is perhaps as big a surprise as Gayle. He has been one of the top two bowlers across the first six IPLs along with Lasith Malinga. This season was his worst despite the league-wide success of legspinners. He leaked 9.06 runs an over and took just seven wickets from 10 games. He was the only bowler this season to concede more than 50 runs in a game twice. That Sunrisers actually dropped him for a few matches shows how far he fell.
Ojha is another consistent IPL performer who surprisingly had a terrible, terrible season. He took just four wickets in 12 games after never taking fewer than nine previously. His average of 95 is a career-worst as was his strike-rate of 69 and his economy rate of 8.26. A spinner who takes a wicket every 11.5 overs isn’t going to have much success and Ojha didn’t
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Updated Date: Jun 03, 2014 11:53:49 IST