Team-wise one player who might be axed ahead of IPL 2020

There were some players who could not meet up to the expectations in the previous edition.

Dhawal Kulkarni

Dhawal Kulkarni. (Photo: IANS)

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Dhawal Kulkarni
Dhawal Kulkarni. (Photo: IANS)

The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League ended on May 12, 2019, with a nail-biting finish in the finals between the two most successful teams in the history of the entire tournament. Mumbai Indians lifted the title for a record 4th time as they managed to hold their nerves and pinned Chennai Super Kings to the title by defeating them by a solitary run.

All the teams had some positives to cherish, yet there were some players who could not meet up to the expectations. There were a few players who didn’t get many opportunities throughout the tourney and found themselves on the bench regularly due to the presence of more accomplished players. Here we present a team-wise list of such players who could be dropped from their squads ahead of the next edition of the annual T20 event.

1. David Miller – Kings XI Punjab

              David Miller. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Throughout the last 7 years, Miller has been an integral part of Kings XI Punjab squad. He even captained the side for half a season in 2016. As talented a batsman he is, his form has dipped considerably over the years. In IPL 2019, he managed to score only 213 runs in 10 matches at an average of 26.62.

His form was one of the major concerns throughout the season for KXIP as they struggled with their regular middle-order collapses. Since his appointment as captain in 2016, he has not been able to convert starts into big scores. His miserable run continued even after being axed as captain midway through the season.

In such a situation, KXIP would be looking for alternatives. The arrival of aggressive Nicholas Pooran in the team has put Miller’s future with the franchise in jeopardy. There would be no surprise if he is dropped from the squad ahead of the 13th edition.

2. Dhawal Kulkarni – Rajasthan Royals

              Dhawal Kulkarni. (Photo: IANS)

Dhawal Kulkarni is an IPL veteran, being a part of the league since its inception in the year 2008. He was bought by Rajasthan Royals in 2018 and was retained for the 2019 season. As a bowler who relies on accuracy and seam movement rather than express pace, he has been rendered ineffective in the last couple of seasons.

In IPL 2019, he could pick up only 6 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 55.83 and a strike rate of 35. He also leaked away runs at 9.57 an over. Kulkarni was an asset with the new ball. However, with batsmen going after him from the beginning and succeeding in doing so, he has struggled to put early pressure on the opposition. With his age already crossing 30, his chances of continuing with the franchise seem bleak.

3. Colin Ingram – Delhi Capitals

              Colin Ingram. (Photo: IANS)

The swashbuckling left-handed batsman was a major disappointment for his franchise this season. The Delhi Capitals had secured his services for 6.4 crores after winning an intense bidding war. However, he failed to live up to his price tag and could not make a difference for his side.

He had a mediocre season as he could manage to score only 184 runs in 12 matches at an average of 18.4. He could not cross the 50 run mark even once throughout the tournament. With the team brimming with players itching to play in the middle order, the franchise could let go of his services for the next edition.

4. Barinder Sran – Mumbai Indians

Barinder Sran of India
Barinder Sran. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The left-arm pacer from Punjab was touted to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. After an impressive show for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2016, he was picked up by the Mumbai based franchise for the 2019 season for 3.4 crores. Sran had a rather unfortunate season as he could play only 2 matches and he failed to pick up even a single wicket.

Sran has to face a lot of competition for a spot in the Playing XI in a squad endowed with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Alzarri Joseph, Ben Cutting and Jason Behrendorff. In such a problem of plenty, MI could easily dispense with the services of Sran and look for a batsman to consolidate their middle order.

5. Thangarasu Natarajan – Sunrisers Hyderabad

Thangarasu Natarajan
Thangarasu Natarajan speaks in a press conference. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The left-arm medium-pacer from Tamil Nadu was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for 40 lakhs after he failed to impress in his stint with Kings XI Punjab in 2017. In that season with Kings XI Punjab, he could pick up only 2 wickets in 6 matches at an average of 57.5 and a strike rate of 38. He also found himself incapable of stopping the flow of runs.

While in Hyderabad’s squad, he became a victim of the ‘problem of plenty’. With the squad of SRH filled with stalwarts like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi and Billy Stanlake, it was natural that Natarajan could not get a place in the playing XI throughout the season. The franchise would be considering leaving him out and looking for a middle-order batsman.

6. Carlos Brathwaite – Kolkata Knight Riders

Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Popularly remembered as the man who hit Ben Stokes for 4 consecutive sixes in World T20 2016 Final to wrap up the win for his team, Brathwaite has not managed to replicate that form in the Indian Premier League. Kolkata Knight Riders had acquired his services for INR 5 Crore for the 2019 IPL.

However, because of the presence of some indispensable international players like Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and requirement of a bowler like Lockie Ferguson or Harry Gurney, he had to sit out for the most part of the season.

In the two matches that he played, he could score only 11 runs at an average of 5.50. Also, he could not pick up a single wicket during those two outings. The Knight Riders may think of loosening their purse strings ahead of IPL 2020 by letting go of the 31-year-old all-rounder.

7. Colin de Grandhomme- Royal Challengers Bangalore

              Colin de Grandhomme. (Photo: IANS)

The medium-pace bowling all-rounder from New Zealand is an extremely important part of his national side. A lot was expected from the 33-year-old player ahead of the 12th edition. However, due to the presence of Marcus Stoinis in the squad, he could not get many opportunities.

He played 4 matches in which he could score only 46 runs at an average of 15.33 and a strike rate of 93.86. He could not pick even a single wicket during those 4 matches. Grandhomme failed in fulfilling the major role he had in the team- getting some quick runs in the slog overs. With RCB ending up with a wooden spoon this season, they shall be looking forward to making quite a few changes in their squad and the omission of Colin de Grandhomme from the squad might be one of them.

8. Mohit Sharma – Chennai Super Kings

              Mohit Sharma. (Photo Source: IANS)

The 27-year-old pacer was the find of the season for Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2013. 6 years later, he found himself donning the yellow jersey again after a stint with Kings XI Punjab. However, he could get only a single game to his name this season. Deepak Chahar’s prowess with the new ball and Shardul Thakur’s pace kept him out of the mix for the most part of the season.

In the single match that he played, Sharma leaked 27 runs in 3 overs while scalping a single wicket. Sharma’s form has declined over the years and he has been rendered almost ineffective in the shortest format of the game. As CSK rebuilds their team for the next season, they may look out leaving Mohit Sharma and increase their purse by INR 5 Crore.

~ Written by Sanjam Singh Arora