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Friday, June 8, 2012

CONCLUSION OF IPL 5: WORST ELEVEN

The IPL is finally over, and KKR were deserving champions. What better way to celebrate its conclusion than by pointing and laughing at the worst performers? For every Dwayne Bravo, there’s a Ravindra Jadeja lying around.
Here’s my list. If you think someone else is more deserving of a spot, put it down in the comments and I’ll be sure to argue against it.
1) Paul Valthaty (30 runs @ 5.00): I’ve heard of sophomore slumps, but this is ridiculous. A high score of 13 and a strike rate of 58 in six innings – he looked as comfortable as an armless man at a high-fiving convention. He can most certainly be blamed for Punjab’s slow start to season.

2) Kumar Sangakkara (200 runs @ 18.18): Just an awful season for one of the world’s leading batsman, both tactically and technically. He looked mentally AWOL for most of the IPL, but made a good move by agreeing to sit out for someone else. On return, he made his only innings of note (82) as Deccan’s season picked up towards the end. None of it was due to him, though.

3) Manish Pandey (143 runs @ 20.42): Very similar stats to Sangakarra – his average only gets boosted to 20 because of the one innings of 80*. Take that away and he averages just 9 from the other innings. He wasn’t helped by Pune’s peculiar selection, because when he wasn’t opening, he was coming in at numbers six, seven and even eight (I think). This is the same guy who was banned for four games for wanting more money, by the way.

4) Sourav Ganguly (268 runs @ 17.86): Has he played his last IPL match? We’ll never really know. He gave his fans the biggest gift by not staying on at KKR (not that he had a choice). He wasn’t the sole non-performer for Pune; however, he was the captain, and not a very inspiring one. My theory is that he is now under the control of the evil alien living on his head, that suspiciously looks like his hair.

5) Saurabh Tiwary (191 runs @ 23.87): He needs to switch teams. Never should have left Mumbai, really. That’s only our opinion though – he could have made 15 golden ducks in a row and he’d still be getting paid $1.6 million (which is a LOT of rupees, by the way). His high score was 36*, just in case you wanted to know. If you didn’t, watch him bat – it’ll put you in a temporary coma, from which you will awaken having forgotten that little factoid.

6) Dinesh Karthik (238 runs @ 18.30): Another member of the no-fifty club. How does a talented batsman, gifted with timing and innovation, fail so miserable in a format he is suited for? He joins the Mumbai Indians, that’s how. You can tell that joke at parties, I’ll allow it.

7) Parthiv Patel (194 runs @ 17.63): Third keeper batsman on this list, with the same mid-forties high-score like Karthik above him. Parthiv is only effective at the top order with pace and bounce to manipulate (typical small-guy technique), so we’ll never know what Deccan’s logic was for sticking him in the lower-middle order, especially with a more aggressive, in-form Kedar Devdhar sitting on the bench.

8) Yusuf Pathan (194 runs @ 19.40 and 3 wickets @ 60.66): A true all-rounder, he failed with both bat and ball. After being the Man of the Match in the qualifier against Delhi, I thought he’d made it off my list for sure. A woeful performance in the final put him right back in it, and rightfully so. (Irfan averaged 25 with the bat, having a strike rate of 139 in case you wanted to compare.)


9) Harbhajan Singh (6 wickets @ 64.00): This one’s a no-brainer. And by no-brainer I mean both the decision to put him in the Worst XI, and Harbhajan himself. The nicest thing I can say about him is that he has managed to unite every fan in their utter dislike for him.

10) Andre Russell (47 runs @ 23.50 and 1 wicket @ 161.00): It’s not just the average that set me off, it’s the economy rate of 10.06. And he played most of his games in the crucial closing phase of the IPL. Morne frikking Morkel was dropped for this guy, for the sake of balance. Even Iknow that losing a match-winning bowler for the sake of maybe 15 extra runs from the all-rounder is, for lack of a better word, bollocks.

11) Manpreet Gony (3 wickets @ 69.00): Dale Steyn, bowling his heart and lungs out at one end, the likes of Gony and Sudhindra bowling at the other end. That’s all you need to know about Deccan’s failure this season, really.
[Honorary member] Sreesanth (0 wickets @ 0.00): I have never written a “Worst XI” piece without mentioning Sreesanth, so I couldn’t just leave him out. Get well soon, my favorite targe


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