IPL 2017 April 20, 2017

How the money men of IPL 2017 have fared

Among the most expensive players from the latest auction, only Rashid Khan and Pat Cummins have lived up to expectations

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Ben Stokes
Rising Pune Supergiant, Rs 14.5 crores
100 runs from 5 innings. SR: 138.88
4 wickets at 36.25. ER: 7.63
Performances that contributed to wins: 1

What's gone wrong
In ten opportunities to impress with the bat or ball, Stokes has delivered only twice. With the bat, he has struggled to pick changes in pace from the seamers and has twice been done in by slower balls. He has also been out bottom-edging twice while trying to pull short balls.

In the early part of the tournament, Stokes landed too many balls on good length or just short of it. Also, when he tried the short ball, he tended to bowl it too wide. As a consequence, after four games his bowling average shot up to 127.

What's gone right
In Supergiant's fifth game, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Stokes finally delivered the kind of performance he was bought for: he took three wickets, including the key scalps of Virat Kohli and Shane Watson, and conceded only 18 runs in his four overs to help his side defend 161. On this occasion, he looked to bowl straighter, landing 10 of his 24 deliveries within the stumps. It worked, as he bowled two batsman and had Kohli caught skying a well-directed bouncer. His stellar show earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

Tymal Mills
Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rs 12 crore
3 wickets in 4 innings at 40.66. ER: 8.81
Performances that contributed to wins: 0

What's gone wrong
Batsmen have been reading his slower balls easily. In Royal Challengers' match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yuvraj Singh waited on the back foot and smashed Mills' slower bouncer for six over square leg. Delhi Daredevils' Rishab Pant did something similar too, except he swiveled and lifted the ball over fine leg. In Royal Challengers' game against Mumbai Indians, Krunal and Hardik Pandya both picked full-length slower balls from Mills and hit them for straight boundaries.

In addition, he has also not got his short balls high enough and has conceded a lot of runs to the pull shot. In general, his line has allowed many runs through the leg side: 65.5% of the runs off his bowling have come in that area. Although Mills looks slightly heavier than he did in England's T20I series in India, it doesn't seem to be affecting his pace: he has clocked several deliveries north of 140kph.

What's worked against him
Nine of the 14 overs he has bowled have been either in the Powerplay or after the 16th over, which has contributed to his high economy-rate. Additionally, in three of the four innings he has bowled in, Royal Challengers were defending totals less than 160.

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Trent Boult
Kolkata Knight Riders, Rs 5 crore
2 wickets in 4 innings at 78.00; ER: 9.85
Performances that contributed to wins: 0

What's gone wrong
Boult has either bowled too wide or too full on most occasions. He has bowled 11 full tosses in the tournament, conceding 20 runs off them, including three crucial boundaries in Knight Riders' loss to Mumbai Indians. Against left-hand batsmen, he has bowled 12 balls wide of the off stump, conceding 21 runs off them. He has gone for more than eight an over in each of the four games he has played and conceded 28 off his last 11 balls against Mumbai Indians, allowing them to complete a comeback win.

What's worked against him
Too many fielding errors - including three dropped catches - from the Knight Riders have occurred off Boult's bowling this IPL. In the game against Mumbai, he had 11 runs to defend in the final over. But any chances of his winning the game for his side were wrecked by a four conceded due to a misfield, followed by a dropped catch that led to two runs. Against Gujarat Lions, there were two fours due to misfields off his bowling, coupled with another in the game against Sunrisers. Epitomising Boult's luck was his last ball against Lions, off which the batsmen ran four after a throw got deflected off the stumps. The fielder backing up tried to stop the overthrow by having a shy at the stumps, only to miss and concede another.

Chris Woakes
Kolkata Knight Riders, Rs 4.25 crore
6 wickets in 5 innings at 29.83; ER: 9.94
Performances that contributed to wins: 0

What's gone wrong
Woakes has under-pitched too many attempted yorkers, which resulted in 23 balls landing full in the slot. While these errors have cost him for 49 runs, his economy-rate has been affected by his inability to contain batsmen in the death overs: he has gone at 11 an over in six overs bowled between the 17th and 20th over.

What's worked against him
Like Boult, Woakes has suffered from Knight Riders' poor fielding. He has had two catches dropped off his bowling and some runs conceded due to misfields.

When Woakes was bought, he was seen as a replacement for Andre Russell, but so far, due to strong performances by Knight Riders' top order, he has barely had a chance to impress with the bat. A few key innings, however, could help him justify his price tag.

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Pat Cummins
Delhi Daredevils, Rs 4.5 crore
7 wickets in 5 innings at 21.71; ER: 7.93
Performances that contributed to wins: 1

What's gone right
Forget slower balls, Pat Cummins has been troubling batsmen with pace and bounce this IPL. He has arguably been the tournament's fastest bowler so far, hitting speeds as high as 154kph. Of his seven wickets, only one was taken with a ball slower than 140kph. He has bowled 115 balls in the tournament, 54 of which were banged in short or short of a good length and earned him three wickets.

Against Kings XI, he was part of an outstanding overall bowling performance by Daredevils. He conceded only one run in an over to David Miller and Eoin Morgan and then dismissed Morgan to kill the game off.

Rashid Khan
Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rs 4 crore
9 wickets in 6 innings at 19.77; ER: 7.41
Performances that contributed to wins: 3

What's gone right
Rashid has been one of the stars in this season of the IPL. He struck with his fourth ball of the tournament and helped Sunrisers Hyderabad win their opening game. He was named Player-of-the-Match in the win against Gujarat Lions and followed it up with key strikes in Sunrisers' close win against Kings XI.

Batsmen have somehow not been able to read Rashid's variations. Five of his nine wickets so far have come off googlies, three off topspinners or sliders and only one off his stock ball, the legspinner. He has varied his deliveries ingeniously and has hardly let batsmen settle. Against Lions, for instance, he bowled 12 legspinners and 10 googlies.

What has further worked for Rashid is his ploy of being quicker through the air, which has not let batsmen have time to read him off the pitch. His speeds have varied between 90kph and 100kph and most of his wickets have come off deliveries darted at more than 90kph.

Two things stand out about Rashid's performances: first, the quality of the batsmen he has dismissed - Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir and David Miller have been among his victims. Second, his ability to strike within the first eight overs has benefited his team on many occasions. He has bowled nine overs within the first eight and struck five times in that period.

The challenge going forward for Rashid
The one thing that the 18-year-old bowler has not been able to do so far is recover in an over after a batsman has taken him on. On three occasions in the last two games, he conceded 15 runs or more in an over when the batsmen looked to attack him. As the tournament goes on and teams see more of him, he may have to face more aggressive batting and will, therefore, need to find a way to come back after getting hit for runs.

Kagiso Rabada was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 5 crore but has not been included in this list as he has not played a game yet.

Dustin Silgardo is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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