New Delhi: The fifth season of the IPL saw several under-performing Indian and international cricketers, but perhaps the following five names were the biggest flops considering their billing.
Ahead of IPL 6 which starts on Wednesday, we take a look at five season five flops that need strong 2013 returns to boost their careers and influence their respective franchise's fortunes.
Yusuf Pathan (Kolkata Knight Riders):The big-hitting allrounder from Baroda had a forgettable IPL 5 - in 16 innings he tallied just 194 runs at an average of 19.40, with a best of 40 not out. Yusuf bagged two ducks and swung just seven deliveries over the ropes, his lowest season's six tally following 2011 (13), 2010 (24), 2009 (12) and 2008 (25). With the ball he hugely disappointed too, managing to take only three wickets in 22 overs at an average of 60.66 and economy rate of 8.27. Fortunately for KKR, Yusuf's flop show did not much affect their performance as they ended up lifting the IPL trophy for the first time. Yusuf may not get top billing in IPL 6, so it will be interesting to see whether he remains a first-XI pick. His recent domestic Twenty20 scores read: 40, 1 and 3.
Irfan Pathan (Delhi Daredevils):Yusuf's younger brother Irfan also underwhelmed as an allrounder in 2012 with just eight wickets (average 58.12, economy 7.75) and 176 runs from 17 matches. Irfan's swing was sorely missing and his bowling at the death was particularly flat; having dropped a yard in pace and unable to significantly move the ball, Irfan was regularly smacked around in the latter overs. His batting was not that bad - Irfan walloped an unbeaten 40 off 20 balls batting at No. 3 to take Delhi Daredevils to an eight-wicket win in their first match of IPL 5 - but considering his price tag and reputation as India's next big allrounder, 2012 was a season to forget for the younger Pathan.
Ross Taylor (Pune Warriors India): Where once his free-swinging exploits earned him cheer from crowds in Bangalore, Taylor came up short in 2012 with just 197 runs in 12 innings for Delhi. His strike-rate of 115.20 was especially average considering what Taylor achieved in past seasons. In fact, it continued a downward spiral for the New Zealand batsman in the IPL: 119.07 in 2011, 117.33 in 2010, 134.61 in 2009 and 183.95 in 2008. Taylor had been acquired by Delhi for IPL 5 from Rajasthan Royals with the aim of adding to a line-up featuring David Warner, Virender Sehwag and Kevin Pietersen but he failed to make in impact, scoring a solitary half-century in 2012. At his fourth franchise for IPL 6, Taylor will need to deliver for Pune Warriors India who have been massive flops in their two seasons.
Harbhajan Singh (Mumbai Indians): Harbhajan cut a sorry figure in 2012, bowling flat, quick deliveries that rarely turned and returned him just six wickets at an average of 64 and strike-rate of 7.11. Having lost his place in the Indian team, Harbhajan failed to produce any magic in the IPL despite captaining Mumbai Indians. At one stretch he bowled in 11 matches without taking a wicket and there were several times he did not bowl himself his full quota of overs. Having made a somewhat successful return to India's Twenty20 team in 2012, Harbhajan could do with a strong IPL 6 to push for a longer run as well as an ODI recall.
Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings):He may be enjoying a happy ride of late following his stellar performances with the ball in India's 4-0 Test whitewash of Australia, but in 2012 Jadeja proved a flop purchase for Chennai Super Kings. CSK's only acquisition at the IPL 5 auction at a purse-draining $2 million, Jadeja procured 12 wickets in 18 matches to go with 191 runs. Billed as an allrounder, Jadeja was only given more than two overs with the ball on only six occasions in IPL 5, and failed to make an impact with the bat. Of his 12 wickets, five came in one match against Deccan Chargers. The only innings that was memorable was when Jadeja nicked the last ball for four to seal a humdinger of a chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore. CSK may have reached the final in 2012, but the huge investment in Jadeja has yet to pay significant dividends. Will 2013 change that?