IPL 2018: 11 cricketers who had a forgettable IPL
Disclaimer: This article doesn’t mean disrespect to any of the cricketers it mentions. I hope it is widely understood that playing cricket at the highest level is an extremely tough ask.
IPL 2018. It could have very well been 2011. CSK won the title. MS Dhoni hit sixes at will. Shane Watson changed games with his batting. Shikhar Dhawan scored enough runs to keep him in the top fray of Indian batsmen, without topping the batch. The perception of Piyush Chawla’s importance to his team depended strictly on a match-to-match basis. Ajinkya Rahane scored a six once every three IPL innings. RCB didn't get their hands on the title. Steve Smith was absent.
The aftermath of the IPL has seen many articles, most glorifying the best performers and innovators this season. In such a case, it isn’t a bad idea to compile the XI who failed to live up to expectations in IPL 2018. This list contains players who took the onus on themselves to make the mass feel good about themselves. How disenchanting would life be otherwise, if you see AB de Villiers hopping around his crease to reverse-sweep a 140 kph delivery for a six in stark comparison to your best personal achievement of a presentable cover-drive against a 90 kph trundler, eight years back.
Five games have been set as the minimum condition for the players to make this unprecedented list. There are no restrictions on the foreign quota in this XI, but if you want to be a purist, feel free to replace any of them from the substitutes bench.
1) Wriddhiman Saha (10 innings, 122 runs, S/R of 119.60)
All of us can agree on the fact that Manish Pandey had a terrible season, even then, Saha scored 162 runs lesser than him. It was not even the fact that Saha was continuously played out of his position as a lower-order power-hitter. In half his innings, he batted as an opener, his ideal spot in T20s. His batting had flashes of Nayan Mongia’s ineptness from the glorious 1990s. A good keeper, even exceptional on some counts, but as soon as Saha crossed the lines to make the journey to the front of the stumps, he made them look like the Berlin Wall. Kedar Jadhav scored more sixes in the only innings that he batted in this IPL compared to Saha’s entire season.