April 1, 2010

The Flop-Show XI

Halfway into the IPL, Cricinfo looks at the biggest failures so far - those who've belied the hype or not delivered on their salaries

Yuvraj Singh, Kings XI Punjab
Matches played: 7
Runs: 101 @14.42
Wickets: 3 @ 26.66
Price: $1,063,750

By far the biggest failure of IPL 2010, and correspondingly the most hyped flop so far. The stats above tell only part of the story; rumours abound as to the reason behind his drastic loss of form but from the outside Yuvraj - stripped of the captaincy after last season - does not look either fit or interested, or even a potential matchwinner for India at the ICC World Twenty20. His dismissals, notably against Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, were shots of a man torn between attack and defence, and struggling for timing.

Kumar Sangakkara, Kings XI Punjab
Matches played: 6
Runs: 91 @ 18.20
Price: US$700,000

The idea behind giving Sangakkara the Punjab captaincy can be understood, especially after the coach Tom Moody's outburst against Yuvraj last year. Sangakkara led Sri Lanka to the ICC World Twenty20 final last year and is respected on the international circuit. But he's been a massive let-down this season, tactically and statistically, and being fined and subsequently banned for a poor over-rate hasn't helped. His most disappointing innings came in the dismal loss to Kolkata where, along with Mahela Jayawardene, he failed to go for the shots and left his team-mates with too much to do. A reported rift with Yuvraj could have had a bearing on someone who prides himself on being a team man.

Mahela Jayawardene, Kings XI Punjab
Matches played: 7
Runs: 102 @ 17.00
Price: US$475,000

Like his Sri Lankan team-mate, Jayawardene has been cut a forlorn figure at the crease. He's just not been able to get going and on the occasions he's managed a start, Jayawardene has been bogged down by a sluggish strike-rate and cut off before he can hit hard. His innings alongside Sangakkara against Kolkata was baffling and allowed the pressure to mount rapidly on Punjab. With the run-rate shooting up, Jayawardene fell while going for a high-risk shot: he moved outside off stump and couldn't connect with the paddle shot.

Sreesanth, Kings XI Punjab
Matches played: 4
Wickets: 3 @ 45.66
Price: US$625,000

The "fastest mouth in the south" has, perhaps not surprisingly some would argue, been erratic this season. Much was expected of Sreesanth in Brett Lee's absence due to injury and Irfan Pathan's return from injury, but after a good first game he was carted for 42 in three overs by Bangalore Royal Challengers and dropped. The story read much the same: too many deliveries down the pads, slower balls ended up full tosses, and the chatter just didn't outdo the success. An economy rate of 9.78 ranks as one of the worst in the league. At least he hasn't slapped anyone yet.

RP Singh, Deccan Chargers
Matches played: 6
Wickets: 6 @ 32.00
Price: US$875,000

He snared 15 wickets in the inaugural season to be one of the bright spot in Deccan's dispiriting inaugural season. He topped that by winning the purple cap in 2009 to spearhead Deccan's unexpected run to the title. This season, though, hasn't followed the trend set in the first two: he's been plastered for 9.60 runs an over, and he has bowled a full quota of overs in only half his matches. The only game he's had an impact in is the one against Mumbai Indians, when an early double-strike left the table-toppers in trouble.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, Delhi Daredevils
Matches: 4
Runs: 32 @ 8.00
Price: US$250,000

The man who blazed his way through every form of the game last season, and whose signature scoop shot became the rage, has been a pale imitation of his flamboyant self. He batted all of three deliveries for two ducks in Delhi's first two games and was cut off before he could get a start in the next two. By the time the team played their fifth game, Dilshan was benched and that's where he's been since.

AB de Villiers, Delhi Daredevils
Matches: 6
Runs: 107 @ 17.83
Price: US$300,000

Like Dilshan, it would seem a little unfair to criticise de Villiers, who was also a key performer for Delhi in 2009. But de Villiers has performed in only one match, against Bangalore, where his 45 helped set a competitive target and his stunning catch on the boundary gave the fielding effort some lift. His problem has been the same as Dilshan's - getting a start. His preferred cut and square drives have not come off and led to his dismissal against Mumbai Indians, while against Chennai Super Kings he was part of a key collapse. Against Deccan Chargers de Villiers missed a full toss from Rohit Sharma that sparked another collapse.

Ishant Sharma, Kolkata Knight Riders
Matches: 6
Wickets: 7 @ 27.14
Price: US$950,000

An Indian national fast bowler valued at $950,000 who can't keep his place in an IPL side. Ishant continues to disappoint in this tournament and this season he has just seven wickets - that works out to $135,714.28 per wicket. He has struggled to deliver with the new ball, taking just two wickets at 49.00 inside the Powerplays, and when he's been called on to bowl during the death - after the 15th over an innings - he's taken just three wickets and cost 10.57 runs an over.

Shane Bond, Kolkata Knight Riders
Matches: 5
Wickets: 5 @ 29.60
Price: US$750,000

Shane Bond's first foray into the IPL has been pretty average so far; in five matches he has five wickets. Not what the owners had in mind when they signed on the New Zealand fast bowler. His first outing was wicketless and cost 33 from four overs; his second yielded 2 for 32; his third 0 from 31 from three overs; and in his fourth Bond took 2 for 24. These are adequate returns, but more is expected from the tearaway who has been given the responsibility of spearheading Kolkata's attack.

Kieron Pollard, Mumbai Indians
Matches: 6
Runs: 79 @ 13.16
Wickets: 2 @ 44.00
Price: US$750,000

This year's hottest and most expensive buy hasn't translated his earnings into success with bat or ball. Pollard has become one of West Indies' main money men without proving his value in the international arena, but his achievements in the IPL leave much to be desired. He missed the first match and some will argue that he's been under-used, especially when batting at No's 6, 7 and 8. In his first major opportunity with the bat he came out at No. 8 and hit 21 from 19 balls. In the next match he had a good chance to get some batting practice but fell to a daft shot for 7. Against Deccan his manic swipe ended up a top edge to third man. In the last match Pollard was sent in at No. 3 and again fell trying a big shot. His slow medium-pace has proved largely ineffective, especially during the Powerplays.

Eoin Morgan, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Matches: 6
Runs: 35 @ 11.66
Price: US$220,000

Morgan appeared the biggest steal of the 2010 auction. In a team with correct batsmen such as Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid, Morgan's innovativeness - hard reverse-sweeps through packed off-side fields, for instance - seemed the right touch for Bangalore. But in six games, Morgan got four innings and returned 35 runs at 11.66. A lot of this had to do with the success of Bangalore's openers, who lead the league in terms of partnership success, and the little time Morgan consequently had to bat. You can't really call him a total failure, but seeing Morgan put on the bench upon Kevin Pietersen and Cameron White's return to the squad indicates how he's been valued so far.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aditya on April 3, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    ABd was bowled of a full toss by Rahul Sharma (the specialist leg spinner) and not Rohit Sharma!

  • Dummy4 on April 3, 2010, 1:32 GMT

    I also think, it is too early to say Shane Bond is a failure.These are the over rated playes I think. Kevin Peterson,Pollard,jayasurya Ishanth and Sresanth

  • Tami on April 2, 2010, 19:46 GMT

    We will have to wait and see the next auction. A lot of so called ICONS will go for pennies, likes of Ishant who I seriously think should stop playing cricket for a while and work on his bowling he has been a failure after Tour of Australia not a single good performance there are a lot of other great bowlers that we should give a chance.

  • Harsh on April 2, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    haha lol so who are we going to criticize now ? Sanga and Yuvi who helped putting decent score against THE RCB beside Bopara or Should we criticize Bopara and Shrisanth who dropped sitter or Brett Lee whose one over finished any hope for KING XI or Billy who turned down LBWs .. so as I said .. its very complicated .. King Xi and DD can still drown many good teams with them .. very cruel tournament in terms of cut throat competition.

  • Harsh on April 2, 2010, 16:22 GMT

    I hope you keep comment section open at least till Banglore and Panjab game is over ... haha see I am telling you guys .. don't consider King XI out ... they probably won't make it to semi-final .. but they can drown many good fan following team from going to semi-final .. then what are you going to do !! you will criticize your beloved team !! haha its very very cruel tournament thats the beauty of it .. anything can happen .. This season i want DD and MI to come in to semi .. others I can't be sure ..

  • anil on April 2, 2010, 15:52 GMT

    And as i mentioned below,the news is that presently Yuvraj is turning it on for Punjab,hopefully Cricinfo sub editor Jamie Alter would alter the article tommorow I will again repeat its too early to make a list of losers.

  • mau on April 2, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    to put things simply.. the players who will wait for the next auction impatiently- the successes considering their current price too, Shaun Marsh Ravindra Jadeja Manish Pandey Saurab Tiwary Shadab Jkati Asnodkar Suulabh Srivastav Bisla Naman Ojha Rayudu Aditya Tare Vinay Kumar Shikhar Dhawan Paras Dogra Kedar Jadhav Amit Mishra Umesh Yadav Jhunjhunwala Murli Kartik Monish Mishra and some more... The players who will not wait for auction...will be very nervous as they aremost failures or have been overpriced..... Jayasuriya Ishant Sharma Shreeshant Kaif Jayawardene Yusuf Abdulla Brad Hodge Gayle Peitersen Filntoff Hayden Irfan Pathan Laxman Dravid Gibbs Symonds Agarkar etc etc

    I guess the biggest price reduction will be for Ishant, Sreeshant, Kaif, Jayawardene, Laxman, Symonds...

    lets see.

  • Reza on April 2, 2010, 15:06 GMT

    Shane Bond should not be in this flop show. He did not perform as far the expectations but not bad as well. four dot balls in the penultimate over against dangerous Symonds. On the other hand, some of u guys argued about Morgan which I believe rightly justified to be in this group by his total 35 from 6 outings at the average 11.66. To me the biggest failurer are Morgan, Yuvi, Mahela.

  • Dylan on April 2, 2010, 13:46 GMT

    Wouldn't you usually do a flop list once the tournament is actually over? I can't say I agree with any of it as there are many matches still to come...

  • Vipul on April 2, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    @katochnr: I agree with you completely. All the players who made to this ignominous list and those who were nominated by the readers must be under tremendous presssure to perform. Some of them, like Dilshan, struck the worst form at the most incorrect moment. The only exception who willingly chose to made a fool of himself is Yuvraj Singh. Even if he had any problems, protesting by putting your side in jeopardy is the worst way of a protest. I am sure Dhoni has an eye over the happenings and he won't be afraid to rest Yuvi for any match in World Cup T20.

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