A stagnant Supergiant, an un-rising Sunriser
Dale Steyn's only wicket in this IPL season, as his Instagram feed proudly proclaimed, came in a street cricket game in Mumbai. From exploring India's concrete jungles to hitching autorickshaw rides and from playing golf to taking selfies by the Ganges, Steyn had a blast off the field. On it, Gujarat Lions found it difficult to accommodate him, especially with Dwayne Smith and Aaron Finch performing the way they were. Steyn bowled all of two overs in his only game.
A go-to man for MS Dhoni during his Chennai Super Kings days, Albie Morkel, acquired in the transfer window from Delhi Daredevils, was expected to play a similar role at Rising Pune Supergiants. But not even injuries to their first-choice foreign players Kevin Pietersen, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh and Faf du Plessis could translate into opportunities. Thisara Perera assumed the role of finisher and medium-pace option, limiting Morkel's opportunities considerably.
Corey Anderson's continued absence from the Mumbai Indians XI wasn't entirely surprising, given the number of overseas options available to them and the rousing form of Krunal Pandya, another left-handed allrounder, albeit a spinner. Anderson's bench-warming led to debates over the possibility of a mid-season loan system. Surely Kings XI Punjab would have benefitted? Having arrived with the hope of being a game-changer, Anderson spent two frustrating months stuck on the bench.
Trent Boult is shown uprooting middle stump in Sunrisers Hyderabad's theme song. With more match time - he played just one game - he could have replicated it on the field too. Instead, with Mustafizur Rahman taking his place and making it his own, Boult was usually carrying drinks, ensuring his team-mates stayed well hydrated in a harsh summer that saw temperatures reach 45 degrees in Hyderabad.
There was disbelief within cricket circles when Martin Guptill went unsold at the IPL auction despite looking like a steal with a base price of INR 50 lakhs. There emerged a ray of hope when a slew of Supergiants players were forced out with injuries, but it was Mumbai who finally called him up, when they lost Lendl Simmons to a lower back problem. Guptill only played three games, two of which came at the end of the league phase with Mumbai fighting to stay alive.
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo