posted on 2019-05-13 18:27:44
posted by Sahil Jain
Image Source: TOI
The World Cup is just around the corner and irrespective of the tournament being played, one eye will always be on one of the biggest tournaments in the history of the game. Each player would love to go into that the tournament in the right frame of mind and with some performances in the lead-up as well.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) was in full flow for the last seven weeks and most players were engrossed in it. A few players made total use of the opportunity to roar back into form while a few players hit roadblocks as form deserted them. Hence, here let’s look at some of the World Cup-bound players who had a poor IPL season.
In 2017, playing his maiden IPL season, Ben Stokes was the Most Valuable Player and the player of the season as well. However, in the last couple of seasons, Stokes has looked a pale shadow of himself. He has struggled to get going and hasn’t been creating an impact with the ball either.
Playing for the Rajasthan Royals (RR), the England all-rounder was one of the biggest disappointments this season. He accounted for a mere 123 runs in nine innings at an average of 20.50 and a strike-rate of 124.24. With the ball, he picked up six wickets and was very expensive as he had an economy of 11.22.
Kuldeep Yadav has been wreaking havoc in international cricket for almost two years now. The chinaman bowler has picked up wickets everywhere he’s played. He’s made batsmen dance to his tunes and he was expected to be KKR’s strike bowler.
But Kuldeep went through one of the worst phases of his career as he took just four wickets from nine games before he was dropped from the playing XI. Batsmen played him easily and at one point, it looked like he was fatigued. Hence, Kuldeep also had his worst IPL of his career. India might be slightly concerned with Kuldeep’s form in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Kedar Jadhav was in good form in the lead-up to the IPL. He was playing well at No. 6 for India in ODI cricket and his slingy off-spin was also effective. Moreover, this was his first full season with Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Last year, he broke down in the very first game and was ruled out.
However, this was a completely different Jadhav that was on display in this IPL. He scored just 162 runs at an average of 18.00. What was even worse was his strike-rate of 95.85. He had revealed at the start of the tournament that he won’t be bowling a lot and hence, he didn’t bowl a single over. He injured himself in the final league game as he tried to dive near the boundary. Hence, India will be hoping Jadhav regains fitness soon as he is a crucial member of that World Cup side.
Tim Southee was another player on whom expectations were big but he failed to deliver. He was in and out of New Zealand’s white-ball teams right before the IPL. The 30-year-old fast bowler was expected to play a crucial role in an inexperienced pace attack with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
However, as it turned out, his below-par performances saw him play just three games throughout the season. In those three games, he conceded runs at an economy of 13.11 and picked up just one wicket. He was carted around by almost everyone he bowled to and was one of the least effective bowlers this IPL.
The New Zealand captain injured himself in the Test series against Bangladesh just before the IPL. Hence, he was on and off quite a bit in the first half of the season. In whatever games he played, he hardly looked in flow and his timing wasn’t there as well.
Kane Williamson featured regularly in the XI and led the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) as well in the second half. However, his form continued to be dry. His only substantial knock came in SRH’s final league game against RCB. He scored an unbeaten 70. He had only one other score in excess of 20. Hence, all in all, it was a pretty disappointing season for the New Zealand skipper with the World Cup around the corner.
David Miller started the tournament well. He had scores of 59 not out (in a losing cause), 15 not out and 43 in his first three innings in this IPL. However, since then, he’s played seven games and has recorded four single-digit scores and another couple of sub 25 scores.
Hence, Miller hasn’t really set the stage on fire. He is a vital part of South Africa’s middle-order for the World Cup. He finished the tournament with 213 runs in 10 innings and his strike-rate was a shade under 130 as well. Hence, Miller was under-par and didn’t really get going this season.