We are half-way through the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). While there have been some memorable performances by individuals, some big names have not lived up to their billing and under-performed in the season thus far. We analyze the matches so far and form a Mid-Season Flop XI. There are some big surprises in store.
Manan Vohra, the opener for the Rajasthan Royals has been in woeful form in 2021. He has managed to score a total of just 42 runs in 4 innings with a highest score of 14. He was subsequently dropped by the Royals after 4 matches.
Shubman Gill has been a patch of the batsman he was for India in the last few months in international cricket. The stylish right-hander has just scored 132 runs in 7 matches at a paltry strike rate of 117.85. Gill has registered four failures in the competition and whereas he has got starts in the three other matches he has been unable to convert them into substantial scores. Gill had managed to aggregate 440 runs in the UAE last year but played within himself largely anchoring the innings – which his strike rate of 117.96 indicated. This year the problem has compounded for the talented Indian batsman – not only is he not scoring quickly but is also not getting the big runs.
The Middle Order
Ishan Kishan has been a massive disappointment for the Mumbai Indians this season. After top-scoring for the franchise in IPL 2020 and playing a pivotal role with the bat in helping MI lift their fifth title, the left-hander has been in woeful form this year. He has just managed to score 73 runs in 5 innings at a strike rate of barely 83! Kishan was the highest scorer for MI last year with an aggregate of 516 runs in 13 innings. Not only did he score big but did so at a splendid strike rate of almost 146.
Marcus Stoinis has had an ordinary stint with the Capitals this season. He has failed to produce the cameos and also been expensive with the ball. The Australian all-rounder has just managed to register 71 runs in 6 innings and picked just two wickets in the tournament. He has also conceded at 10.9 runs per over.
Nicholas Pooran has had a shocker of a tournament for the Punjab Kings. He has just mustered 28 runs in 6 innings and has registered 4 ducks in the tournament. Pooran was finally dropped from the XI against the Capitals. Pooran was in devastating form in the lower-order last year with an aggregate of 353 runs at a strike rate of almost 170.
The KKR captain, Eoin Morgan is having a nightmare of a competition with the bat which is having a direct impact on his team’s fortunes. The England limited overs’ captain has just managed to score 92 runs in 7 innings at a poor strike rate of 112.19. He has been dismissed in single-digits on 5 occasions and has failed to provide any impetus at the death.
Hardik Pandya is the biggest name in the XI. The X-factor in the middle order for MI and one of the most destructive finishers in the game has been a patch of the batsman he was in the previous two editions. Hardik has just registered 52 runs in 6 innings at a strike rate of 118.18. Hardik played a crucial role with the bat in MI’s title triumphs in 2019 and 2020. He scored 402 runs at a strike rate of 191.42 in 2019 and 281 runs at a rate of almost 179 in the UAE last year.
Jhye Richardson was purchased by the Punjab Kings for INR 14 crore at the auction in February but has failed to live up to his billing this year. He did not look like picking wickets with the new ball and could bag just 3 in 3 matches while also being ploughed for aplenty – he has an economy rate of 10.63 in the competition.
One of the finest pace bowlers in the history of the IPL, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had an indifferent first half in the tournament in 2021. Neither was the veteran Indian pacer able to pick wickets with the new ball nor restrict the opposition batsmen. Kumar picked just three wickets from 5 matches and went at a rate of 9.1 per over before he was left out of the SRH XI.
Yuzvendra Chahal is another star player who has not been at his best in IPL 2021. Chahal was not only the highest wicket-taker for RCB but also led the dismissals chart for a spinner in the previous edition – he returned with 21 wickets in 15 matches at a strike rate of 16.3 and economy rate of 7.08 last season. But the leg spinner has neither made the breakthroughs nor been able to control the game in the middle overs this season for RCB. He has just bagged 4 wickets in 7 matches at an economy rate of 8.26.
Sandeep Sharma is another surprising name on the list. He has been one of the more consistent bowlers for SRH over the years and very effective with the new ball. He picked 14 wickets last season at an economy rate of just 7.19. Sharma has managed just one solitary wicket in three matches this year while also conceding at 10.38 runs per over. He was subsequently left out of the XI.
So this is the IPL 2021 Mid-Season Flop XI:
1. Manan Vohra (RR)
2. Shubman Gill (KKR)
3. Ishan Kishan (wk) (MI)
4. Marcus Stoinis (DC)
5. Nicholas Pooran (PBKS)
6. Eoin Morgan (captain) (KKR)
7. Hardik Pandya (MI)
8. Jhye Richardson (PBKS)
9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)
10.Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB)
11. Sandeep Sharma (SRH)
At their peak, this flop XI can upset any best XI in the IPL. But it has not been their season so far in the tournament.