The IPL is arguably cricket’s most entertaining league. But despite the amount of talent on display in the league, something always seems to go wrong. Unfortunately, 2016 has been no different. The Board of Control for Cricket in India nearly shifted games out of Maharashtra because of a drought. It caused so much uproar in India, that the IPL governing body almost moved the whole tournament out of the country.
Cricket wise, things haven’t been much better. We had a whole host of top performing players last time around, but we haven’t seen anywhere near the same amount of excitement this time. In the first 15 games, there was only one winning team who batted first. But which star players have really let their teams down?
- Mumbai Indians: Hardik Pandya
Pandya took the league by storm last year, with some memorable performances for the Mumbai Indians. He then walked straight into the national side and produced some big hits, along with some terrific bowling. However, so far this season, things haven’t really happened. He failed to get past double digits in his first six games, only managing to take a couple of wickets. Ironically one member of the Pandya family has hit the ground running. Kurnal Pandya has been mightily impressive both with bat and ball in the four games he has played.
Kings XI Punjab: David Miller
South African Miller was in tremendous form before the season, really coming into his own. This season though, he has not been able to get past 15 in the first five innings he played. Captain of the Kings XI there is a lot of responsibility on his shoulders and it is visible to see the other players looking up to him. Leadership skills couldn’t be more important at the moment, with the team languishing in bottom place, having only won once. Miller really has to pick up his game.
- Rising Pune Supergiants: Ravichandran Ashwin
Perhaps the best player in Indian cricket during 2016. Ashwin was one of the stars of cricket. Things began to go downhill after the World Twenty20. He had an OK tournament without setting anything on fire and was at the centre of controversy after being under-bowled in the semi-final clash against the West Indies. His performances in the IPL this season have been fairly similar. Ashwin only got one over in the first game against Mumbai and in the following two he bowled his quota but failed to snatch a single wicket. Ashwin must really pick up his game for the Supergiants.
- Sunrisers Hyderbad: Shikhar Dhawan
It hasn’t been a blistering season for Dhawan, however, his performances have at least picked up a bit. He hit a half-century against the Gujarat Lions and managed a 45 earlier in the season. But for a team that rely on him quite so much, he has hardly been at his marauding best. Hopefully the fifty will set Dhawan back on track and help him reach top form.
- Gujarat Lions: James Faulkner
The Aussie was famed for being a great all-rounder. Bat and ball in hand. He had a descent 2015, but has failed to reach those heights in 2016. Captain of the Lions Suresh Raina trusted him to finish bowling in the first three games of the season. Faulkner, however, failed to deliver and was unable to keep the faith his captain had in him. Faulkner also had an opportunity to salvage his reputation against Mumbai. With his team winning 131/6 it was a great opportunity to score some big points, but he lost his wicket cheaply and his stature took a hit once more. Faulkner must really pick up his game for the Lions to once again be considered favourites.
There are a few others who could have arguably been on the list. Chris Gayle and Pawan Negi come to mind. But based on performances before the season kicked off, these players have seen the biggest drop.