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IPL 2020: The Initial Struggle of Four Indian Superstars

Virat Kohli (Image: IPL/BCCI)

Virat Kohli (Image: IPL/BCCI)

Four of the biggest names in Indian and world cricket, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant have not yet found their mojo in this edition of the IPL.

18 runs in 29 deliveries from 3 matches.

47 runs in 3 matches at a strike rate of just 130.55.

96 off as many as 81 deliveries at a strike rate of just 118.51.

3 wickets from 3 matches at an economy rate of 9.75.

These are the numbers of 4 Indian superstars in IPL 2020 so far – namely Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah.

The stats tell the story themselves. Four of the biggest names in Indian and world cricket have not yet found their mojo in this edition of the IPL.

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Virat Kohli (RCB)
Kohli has looked a bit rusty and out of touch in the three matches, he has played in IPL 2020 so far. He came in at 90 for 1 after 11 overs against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Dubai but could not find any momentum and struggled to keep up with the run rate. He scored an uncharacteristic 14 off as many as 13 deliveries. He again failed in the 97-run thumping against Kings XI Punjab looking out of sorts during his 5-ball stay at the crease for a solitary run. Kohli was the only top 5 RCB batsman to miss out in the 200-plus run-fest against Mumbai Indians. He scored 3 off as many as 11 balls, struggled against Rahul Chahar before finally falling prey to the leg-break bowler.

Kohli hasn’t had the best of starts to IPL XIII. The best batsman in the world across formats hasn’t yet hit a boundary in 3 matches! The inaugural IPL – 2008 - was the worst season for him – he could just muster 165 runs in 13 matches at a strike rate of 105.09 in the edition.

Kohli is the highest scorer in the history of the IPL with 5430 runs in 172 innings. He holds the record for the highest aggregate in a single season of the IPL – Kohli amassed 973 runs in 16 innings at a strike rate of 152.03 smashing 4 hundreds in 2016!

Hardik Pandya (MI)

14 off 10 deliveries coming into bat at 92 for 3 after 11 overs, 18 off 13 deliveries coming into bat at 147 for 3 after 15.1 overs and 15 off 13 deliveries coming in to bat at 39 for 3 after 6.4 overs (chasing 202) – it was a below-par performance from Hardik Pandya in IPL 2020 till Mumbai's third match. He was given the platform by the top-order batsmen but failed to capitalize and produce the cameos and match-changing innings which have become quintessential with his name in the IPL.

47 runs at a strike rate of just 130.55 when the situation demanded a higher rate of scoring is a disappointing effort from Pandya so far in the tournament.

But in the 13th match of the IPL, Hardik showed glimpses of his old self as he hit an unbeaten 11-ball 30. Before this match, his overall strike rate was 153.58 in the IPL – the 7th highest in the league’s history (min. 500 runs). Clearly, he was striking much below par!

Rishabh Pant (DC)

Pant has got starts in each of the three matches but has not yet played that magical match-changing innings associated with Rishabh Pant. While his 29-ball 31 (from 13 for 3) against Kings XI Punjab was more due to the need of the situation, he was disappointing against SRH where he could just muster 28 off 27 deliveries in the chase. In the final equation, it was a poor knock as DC fell short by 16 runs.

Pant has a strike rate of 118.51 in IPL 2020, several notches lower than his IPL career strike rate of 159.58 – the fourth-highest in the history of the tournament!

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Jasprit Bumrah (MI)

Jasprit Bumrah has been MI’s go-to bowler at the death and is the third-highest wicket-taker for the franchise with 85 wickets from 80 matches at a strike rate of 21.2. He is widely regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in international cricket today.

But Bumrah has been a bit wayward in IPL 2020. Not only has he not picked wickets but has also been tonked for runs going at 9.75 runs per over in his three matches. He conceded above 10 per over against CSK and RCB.

Usually, a difficult bowler to hit for boundaries, Bumrah has been smashed for 9 sixes in the three matches he has played so far – this would be of concern to MI.