After all the initial drama and uncertainty surrounding the smooth conduct of IPL 2020, we have enjoyed a week of exciting cricketing action, some superb victories and some disappointing results for fans of certain franchises.
We are entering the second week of the cash-rich league and the Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi Capitals sit pretty at the top of the points table, having defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Unfortunately, two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are at the bottom of the table after losing their opening fixture against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI). They will, however, look to get off the mark against seventh-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Abu Dhabi tonight.
In terms of individual performances, CSK’s Faf du Plessis is the leading run-scorer with 173 runs from three matches. The South African sits pretty on the 'Orange Cap' table, 20 runs ahead of KL Rahul, who smashed the highest individual score by an Indian – 132 off 69 balls – in IPL history against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday.
On the bowling front, Delhi Capitals (DC) pacer Kagiso Rabada and CSK’s Sam Curran are tied on five wickets each at the top of the IPL 2020 ‘Purple Cap’ list.
However, amidst all the glittery performances, what has also caught the eye are some of the big-money players who have horribly failed to perform in the tournament thus far. Here is a list of five such stars who struggled to get going in Week 1.
5 big-money players who flopped in Week 1 of IPL 2020
1. Virat Kohli (2 matches - 15 runs scored off 18 balls)
While RCB won their opening match for the first time since IPL 2016, their skipper is proving to be really slow to come off the blocks. While Virat Kohli scored a scratchy 13-ball 14 against SRH, he failed to even rotate the strike against KXIP on Thursday before eventually perishing for 1 off 5 balls.
Virat Kohli, whose IPL 2020 salary is reportedly INR 17 crore, is a vital cog in RCB’s middle-order. While he needs to capitalise on a good start by Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch, he also needs to anchor the innings in case the openers get out early.
RCB play against MI on Monday and Virat Kohli would look to wrest his mojo and get his side back to winning ways.
2. Pat Cummins (1 match – 49 runs conceded off 18 balls)
KKR fast bowler Pat Cummins made the headlines nine months before the start of IPL 2020 when the Kolkata-based franchise bought him for INR 15.5 crore in the player auction.
Cummins was signed to address KKR’s death bowling woes, which has been plaguing them for quite a few seasons now. What transpired, however, was an economy rate more than that whopping price tag as the Aussie speedster conceded 49 runs from three overs against the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday.
Cummins was either too short resulting in Rohit Sharma pulling him over mid-wicket or kept missing his length aiming for the toe-crushing yorkers.
There were talks in the build-up to IPL 2020 about players getting affected by the big bucks. Cummins would definitely look to put all those doubts to bed playing against SRH tonight, and thus, hand KKR their first victory of this season.
3. Glenn Maxwell (2 matches – 6 runs scored off 10 balls)
Glenn Maxwell came into the tournament not only with a tremendous reputation, but also on the back of a 90-ball 108 in the series-decider against England in Manchester.
The Australian was bought by KXIP for INR 10.75 crore in the IPL player auction last December to bridge the gap between a power-packed top order comprising captain KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and an inexperienced middle-order.
But, the Aussie all-rounder has terribly struggled to find form. Batting at No. 5, he was dismissed for 1 off 4 balls against the Delhi Capitals, and then for a 6-ball 5 playing at No. 4 against RCB on Thursday.
If people argue that the overseas players are struggling to acclimatise to the UAE conditions, one should not forget that Glenn Maxwell scored a staggering 552 runs at an average of 34.50 in IPL 2014 when the first part was conducted in the UAE.
KXIP lock horns with the Rajasthan Royals in Sharjah tomorrow, and Maxwell would look to make the most of the short boundaries to kickstart his IPL 2020.
4. Ravindra Jadeja (3 matches – 23 runs scored off 16 balls; 126 runs conceded off 72 balls)
The CSK all-rounder was tipped to make the best use of the slow, turning wickets in the UAE. But, everything is going against Ravindra Jadeja at the moment as he has failed to deliver with both bat and ball.
The two games CSK lost was down to leaking too many runs in the middle overs and then lacking firepower in their middle-order. Though Jadeja dismissed Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya on the opening night against MI, he conceded 42 runs in his four overs before perishing for a 5-ball 10 in the run-chase.
The next two matches were nightmares as he went wicketless, returning figures of none for 40 and none for 44 against RR and DC respectively. On the batting front, his scores read 1 off 2 balls against RR and 12 off 9 balls against DC last night.
CSK have a 6-day gap before their next match against SRH, and Jadeja would look to analyse, introspect and bounce back stronger.
5. Shimron Hetmyer (2 matches – 7 runs scored off 13 balls)
There is something that seems to stop Shimron Hetmyer from spreading his wings in the IPL. After having a lacklustre season – 90 runs from five matches – with RCB in IPL 2019, the West Indian big-hitter was given another chance to prove his worth when DC shelled out INR 7.75 crore for him in the player auction last December.
But, the southpaw has looked out of sorts in this year’s IPL as well. After scoring a 13-ball 7 against KXIP, lack of faith in him probably would have urged the DC management to push him lower down the order against CSK last night.
After not getting to bat, things went from bad to worse as he dropped two simple catches of Faf du Plessis in the second innings.
Shimron Hetmyer was supposed to be the knight in shining armour in DC’s young middle-order. Instead, he is on the verge of getting replaced by Australian Alex Carey or even fellow West Indian Keemo Paul.
Hetmyer will probably have another outing against SRH on Tuesday, but another sorry performance will be the final nail in his IPL 2020 coffin.Published 26 Sep 2020, 20:34 IST