They were provided hefty sums at the auction, but did not give value to money for their franchises. Here’s a look at top five super flops at the recently concluded edition of the Indian Premier League.
Yuvraj Singh (Purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 14 crore): In spite ofa ragged showing in the World T20, Singh was the most expensive player at the IPL auction this year. Bangalore believed that he still was a highly valuable player and shelled out a hefty sum for him. Singh did show sparks of brilliance with the bat, and occasionally with the ball too, but he was timid overall. After 14 matches, he finished with 376 runs at an average of 34 with just three half-centuries to show at a strike rate of 135.
Dinesh Karthik (Purchased by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 12.5 crore): Karthik was given a high bidding value primarily because he was a wicket-keeper batsman. But, many were still surprised that of all the players in the list, he was the second biggest buy at the auction. Karthik is talented, but he has consistently fallen short of expectations over the years, which is why many pundits believed the price offered to him was way too exorbitant. In hindsight, they were proved right. In 14 matches, he scored 325 runs at a highly disappointing average of 23 with three half-centuries and a strike rate of 126.
Kevin Pietersen (Purchased by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 9 crore): KP went into the IPL on a low. His England career had been brought to an end by ECB following the Ashes debacle. But, he would have felt great at being offered a whopping sum by Delhi Daredevils, and also being given the captaincy. Injury however preceded him, and even after he returned to the field, he couldn’t find his touch. In 11 matches, Pietersen scored only 294 runs at an average of 29, with one fifty at a strike rate of 126.
Jacques Kallis (Purchased by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 5.5 crore): The South African veteran, who retired from Test cricket some months back, had a disappointing season with KKR. He has been one of their standout players over the years, but following his lacklustre performances and his ageing body, the management might be having second thoughts on him for next year. Kallis played eight matches and scored 151 runs at an average of 25 with one fifty. His strike rate in the event was 117.
Murali Vijay (Purchased by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 5 crore): Vijay was a standout performer for Chennai Super Kings, even in a glitzy batting line up. It was rather surprising then that Chennai did not retain him. Vijay himself must have been puzzled, perhaps one of the reasons he looked out of sorts turning up for a different franchise. In 11 matches, he managed only 207 runs at an average of 18.8, with one fifty and a strike rate of 107.8.
--By A Cricket Analyst