IPL 2014 review June 3, 2014

The flops of the tournament

ESPNcricinfo staff
ESPNcricinfo picks its flops of the IPL 2014 season, with a limit of only four foreign players in the XI

Batsmen undergoing a baffling loss in form, captains who forgot their better sense, bowlers who looked a shadow of themselves and a wicketkeeper who triggers frustration just as easily as he invokes confidence. What's the Indian Premier League without a few people tripping up?

Though their numbers were a useful guide, some other factors used to populate the list were the player's importance to the team, the extent to which he could not meet those demands and the subsequent detrimental impact. The investment they represented and eventual yield was also taken into consideration.

Virat Kohli's skills at leading a team were under the scanner and similar focus was also placed Mohammed Shami and his capacity as a spearhead. Neither was able to deliver near their potential.

Shane Watson provided a healthy share of head-scratching moments. For a majority of the tournament, Rajasthan Royals looked downright assured of a playoff spot. Perhaps they thought the same, too , and decided to play pin the tail on the most outlandish tactical decision.

Mumbai Indians would have felt assured that their top order was sorted having signed Michael Hussey, but his startling loss of form coincided with the team's worst start to an IPL. Chris Gayle was Hussey's closest competition. His dot balls piled up, the big hits waned and he looked in pain while running between the wickets. Pragyan Ojha's tally of four wickets, while conceding over eight an over, was comfortably outdone by uncapped spinners.

The same criteria discounted players like Jaydev Unadkat, Rahul Sharma, Parvinder Awana, CM Gautam. They are yet to present a bankable image to fall short of.

The team below conforms to the conditions of seven local and four overseas players. Wonder how they will fare against the team of the tournament?

1 Michael Hussey (9 matches, 209 runs, strike rate 114, average 23.22)

2 Chris Gayle (9 matches, 196 runs, strike rate 106.52, average 21.77)

3 Virat Kohli (capt) (14 matches, 359 runs, strike rate 122.10, average 27.61)

4 Kevin Pietersen (11 matches, 294 runs, strike rate 126.18, average 29.40)

5 Shane Watson (13 matches, 240 runs, strike rate 122.44, average 20, 7 wickets)

6 Dinesh Karthik (wk) (14 matches, 325 runs, strike rate 125.96, average 23.21, eight dismissals)

7 M Vijay (11 matches, 207 runs, strike rate 107.81, average 18.81)

8 Amit Mishra (10 matches, 7 wickets, economy rate 9.06)

9 Ishant Sharma (3 matches, 3 wickets, economy rate 9.18)

10 Mohammed Shami (12 matches, 7 wickets, economy rate 8.38)

11 Pragyan Ojha (12 matches, 4 wickets, economy rate 8.26)

12th man - Stuart Binny (13 matches, 123 runs, strike rate 101.65, average 12.30, 3 wickets)