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IPL 2021: Flop XI from the second week


Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Indian Premier League is one of the toughest T20 leagues in the world. Since 2008, it has provided the perfect platform for players from all over the world to showcase their skills. Because of its popularity, it has attained the attention of viewers across the globe. And, this adds to the pressure of performing well in the tournament. 

But what adds more pressure is the price tag. No matter how much a player has been successful in different T20 leagues, if he is unable to cope up with the pressure of his value, he will fail. This is the dark side of the Indian Premier League. However, some cricketers have been able to perform as per the expectations. 

After the first two weeks of the IPL, multiple players have impressed. This might open the doors for them to get into the national squad. But for those who have failed, the chances of securing a place in the national squad are quite slim.

Let us have a look at those players who have failed to make a mark in the second week this season: 

1. Manan Vohra

Manan Vohra
Manan Vohra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Manan Vohra was a part of the U-19 World Cup-winning team in 2012. Unfortunately, like most of the members of that squad, he failed to make it to the international stage. In 2013, he was picked up by the Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) franchise. But, because of irregularities, he was unable to make a name for himself. 

He had a brilliant comeback season in the 2019-2020 season of the Ranji Trophy. During that time, he scored 591 runs for Chandigarh. Apart from that, he scored 154 runs from 4 games in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2020-2021. Currently, he is representing Rajasthan Royals.

This time, Vohra has been given a proper chance at the top of the order. But, he has failed to score as he has just 42 runs to his name. With a poor average of 10.50, he is putting a lot of pressure on Sanju Samson. As a result of which the batting order collapses. 

2. Jos Buttler (Wicketkeeper)

Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

It looks like the Royals are having a horrible time this season. Till now, they have managed only a single victory, thanks to Chris Morris. Their campaign took off on a bad note. Because their premier players are injured. 

This has increased the pressure on Jos Buttler. Even though Buttler is a phenomenal striker of the cricket ball, he has failed this time. Till now, he has scored 84 runs with an average of 21. And lack of support from the other end has only increased the pressure on him. 

If the Royals are looking for a comeback, they need to find someone who can complement Jos. He was able to score only in a single game against CSK. And a strike rate of 133.33 is not something one would associate with him. And a below-par performance enables him to make it to this squad. 

3. Nicholas Pooran

Nicholas Pooran
Nicholas Pooran. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In this edition of the Indian Premier League, the Punjab Kings are finding a way to let themselves down. Firstly, their captain is playing too slowly, Chris Gayle’s current batting position is not working. And, they have wasted INR 22 crore on two highly expensive bowlers. 

Another fact that is not working in their favor is Nicholas Pooran’s current batting position. Pooran is a top order batsman. If they continue using him in the middle/lower-middle order player, then he might fail. And this is what is going on with him. In four games, Pooran has scored three ducks. 

He was outstanding for the Punjab Kings last year. He had scored 353 runs with an average of 35.30. Apart from that, he had a strike rate of 169.71. But this year, because of poor management and captaincy, he has scored just nine runs from four games. 

4. Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Manish Pandey came into the limelight after scoring a brilliant century during the second edition of the Indian Premier League. He became the first Indian to score an IPL century. Well, for the stylish batsman, it looked like the future was bright. But, the competition to get into the Indian team was too hot to handle for Pandey. 

He managed to secure a place in the squad during the latter half of the last decade. But, he has a habit of eating up too many balls before setting his eyes in. This has hampered his team Sunrisers Hyderabad. Apart from that, many fans have accused him of stat-padding. 

In the current edition of the IPL, Pandey has scored 101 runs. But, all these runs have been scored at a mediocre strike rate of 112.22. This is way too slow in a competition like the IPL. And this overshadows a good average of 50.50. 

5. Eoin Morgan (Captain)

Eoin Morgan
Eoin Morgan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The World Cup-winning captain has been in poor form this season. With just 45 runs, he has let down everyone in the KKR camp. But, it is just a matter of time that he finds his mojo. As Russell has been in sublime touch, if Morgan finds a way to time the ball, then KKR will be unstoppable. 

The team has some big hitters in their lineup. The only reason they are failing is that they are giving away wickets easily. This applies to Eoin Morgan too. The Englishman has been scoring at an average of 11.25. A poor strike rate of 112.50 is not helping him either.

His captaincy has been up to the mark. The only factor is his batting. Kolkata’s middle order revolves around Morgan. And for a batsman of Morgan’s caliber, a boundary tally of three is way below par. 

6. Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Hardik Pandya is an all-rounder who cherishes high-pressure situations. Since 2015, he has been Mumbai’s X-factor player. In his IPL career, he has been striking with a strike rate of 157.27. Even though he has scored just 4 half-centuries, he can score quick-fire 30s or 40s. 

Last year, Pandya scored with a humongous strike rate of 178.98. Apart from that, he had a healthy average of 35.12. And he took on the bowlers from the word go. This ability to not wasting any deliveries makes him a dangerous batsman. 

This year, he has been unable to score properly. With just 35 runs from 33 balls in the first two weeks, Pandya has not lived up to his expectations. He has been outstanding in the field. But, it is his batting that has been a letdown. It is just a matter of time that he finds his touch back. 

7. Krunal Pandya

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: IANS)

This is the first time that the Pandya brothers have failed. And most of the fans might be disappointed because this duo is one of the most popular ones in the field of fantasy leagues. The Pandya brothers have been unable to score as they did during the previous editions. As MI is dependent on this duo, they have to find a way to get their form on the right path. 

The senior Pandya has bowled decently. With an economy rate of 6.53, he has been a difficult bowler to face. But, he makes it to this list because of his batting. This year, he has just scored 26 runs with a strike rate of 108.33. The famous MI batting lineup has been silent for two consecutive weeks.

An average of 8.66 is way too low for someone who has been scoring at an average of 23.86. Krunal Pandya‘s on-field approach has been too aggressive. And there might be a case that it is affecting his game. If MI needs to get into the playoffs, the Pandya brothers have to pull up their socks.

8. Jhye Richardson

Jhye Richardson
Jhye Richardson. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Meet Jhye Richardson, the bowler who has been under-performing since his IPL debut. The most talked-about thing about Jhye is not his bowling, but his price value. During the 2021 auctions, PBKS had bought him for a whopping amount of INR 14 crores. This amount has been stated as “Scary, but life-changing” by many people. 

Till now, it is scary as he has failed to put the batsmen under pressure. PBKS had included him in the squad because of his ability to pick wickets. Last year, they suffered because of their death bowling. And this time too, the story is the same. Currently, there is too much on Arshdeep’s plate. 

Jhye Richardson has played three IPL games so far. With three wickets to his name, he has been an under-performer for K.L. Rahul. Adding on, an economy rate of 10.64 is not acceptable when one is getting paid INR 14 crores. He has been a burden on the franchise so far.

9. Shardul Thakur

Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shardul Thakur had a brilliant time earlier this year against Australia. He took the charge to pick up wickets when there was a clear absence of senior members in the squad. He scored a solid half-century at the Gabba and ensured that Team India stayed in the game. Recently, he has been given a BCCI contract. 

But in this year’s IPL, he is having a horrible run so far. In the four games he has played, Thakur has been bowling at an economy rate of 11.27. With just three wickets in four games, the fans will be expecting him to put on a better show. Being a regular member of the playing eleven, he might turn the tables. 

During the first two weeks of the IPL, Thakur has been bowling during the crucial phases of the innings. He has been handed the ball when the batsmen are looking to smash these bowlers out of the park. And this makes him a target to expensive spells. Recently, Russell smashed him all around Wankhede. But, Dhoni’s trust in him might give him the confidence he needs. 

10. Riley Meredith

Riley Meredith
Riley Meredith. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Just like Richardson, Riley Meredith is having a horrible time with the PBKS. He was picked up by the franchise because of his ability to click the 140 kmph barrier regularly. But, it looks like the INR 8 crore price tag has got the better of him. He was dropped recently from the playing eleven. 

Given the fact that PBKS has better options with Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh, the door might be closed for Riley Meredith. But, if K.L. Rahul opts for Meredith, he has to put on a stellar show. In just three matches, he has leaked 105 runs. Adding on, he has picked up only 2 wickets so far, which is not acceptable by any means. 

Talking about his economy rate, Riley Meredith is bowling at 10.5 runs per over. With a captain who is making poor decisions, it only adds up to the misery for the Punjab Kings. The only way PBKS will make a comeback is by opting for a proper spinner and strengthening their middle and lower-middle order. It looks like the management has made a poor choice at the auctions. 

11. Yuzvendra Chahal

Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Yuzvendra Chahal is one of the most successful bowlers for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the history of the tournament. He has been Virat Kohli’s go-to man on several occasions. Even though he is a leg spinner, who are often taken for plenty, Chahal has an impressive economy rate of 7.71. 

Last year, Chahal picked 21 wickets with an economy rate of 7.08. He was one of the main reasons RCB managed to finish fourth in the tournament. But, this year, he has been unable to perform as per expectations. Chahal has picked up only two wickets so far.

With a poor bowling average of 61, the opposition batsmen are playing him cautiously. But, being a leg spinner, he has to pick up wickets at regular intervals. Luckily, for RCB, they are firing on all cylinders, and hence, his performance is not affecting the team. However, it is just a matter of time that he finds his touch. 

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