IPL One Season Wonders: Where Are They Now?

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Kings XI Punjab batsman Paul Valthaty raises his bat for his fifty (50 runs) during the IPL twenty 20 match between Deccan Chargers and Kings XI Punjab at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on April 16, 2011.AFP PHOTO/Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

IPL One Season Wonders: Where Are They Now?

The IPL has revolutionised Indian cricket. It has unearthed several talented players who have gone on to represent India, not only in T20 cricket but even in Test cricket. Hardik Pandya and Jaspirit Bumrah immediately come to mind as successful products of the franchise system. However, there have been a few stars who have fallen by the wayside after strong starts to their IPL careers.

Paul Valthaty

Ever since his phenomenal season in the 2011 edition of the IPL (IPL 04), Paul Valthaty’s career has gone downhill and has now faded into the abyss of wasted talent. He made his name for the Kings XI Punjab in that season when he scored 463 runs at an average over 35. His run tally was the sixth highest that year, behind blockbuster players such as Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar.

However, it was his unbeaten 120* against the Chennai Super Kings that propelled him to fame. This was the highest individual score in that year’s IPL and it came off just 63 balls, with 19 fours and two sixes. Also, it came against an established bowling attack with Ravichandran Ashwin and Tim Southee opening the bowling.

That was the pinnacle of his cricketing career.
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His IPL performance in the next season was abysmal. He only managed 30 runs in 6 matches and only played one match in the 2013 IPL. This was the end of his recognised cricketing career.

Where is he now? Well, the answer to that is slightly upsetting. Valthaty is currently playing for Air India, who are his current employers. He has not played proper cricket aside from that for many years now.

Harshal Patel

Right-arm medium pacer Harshal Patel was signed by the Delhi Daredevils in this year’s IPL Auction from the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Patel is another example of a one season wonder. He had a quiet start to his IPL career, not featuring at all in the 2011 edition. Harshal finally got game time in the 2012 IPL, where he played 12 matches and took nine wickets.

2013 was another fallow year for Harshal and he did not play a single match. After another quiet year in 2014, playing three matches and leaking runs with an economy over 10, Patel finally had a season to remember in IPL 08.
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In that season Harshal took 17 wickets at an economy of under 7.5 an over. He was in the top ten bowlers of that season and the second highest wicket-taker for RCB, just behind leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Since then, though, Patel has been mediocre at best. His performance in the 2016 IPL was dreadful. Patel only was given five matches and took one wicket in that time. He gave away 147 runs in the process, at an economy of 10.50. His descent continued in the following year. He was only given one match in last year’s IPL and ended with figures of 4-0-43-3.

Patel has leaked runs in pretty much every season. With economy rates of over 10 in three out of the five seasons he has played in, Patel has only had a profitable 2015. This was the only season in which he impressed and since then has failed to reach the same heights as he has in IPL 07.

This year it is unlikely that his fortunes will change. He is almost surplus to requirements for the Delhi Daredevils. They have a very strong fast bowling unit, with South African star Kagiso Rabada and Indian seamer Mohammed Shami set to lead the line. Chris Morris and Trent Boult are likely to also feature, meaning that there will be no room for one-hit wonder Harshal.

Ishwar Pandey

Another fast bowler who has disappeared from the IPL scene after a very promising start to his career. Ishwar Pandey had a very memorable 2015 IPL but has since then not played a match.

Pandey burst onto the IPL scene in 2013 and in the same year earned a call up to India’s Test and ODI squad for their tour of New Zealand. Although he did not represent his national side, Pandey’s selection in India’s squad was a reward for his strong domestic performances.

He carried this form into the 2014 IPL, where he was very economical for the Chennai Super Kings and played 13 matches for his franchise.
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Pandey’s IPL career peaked and finished in the same season. In IPL 08 Pandey took 11 wickets in 10 matches and went at an economy rate of just above 7. This played a key role in Chennai’s campaign as they went on to be runners-up in the competition.

Amazingly, Pandey has not played an IPL match since. Pandey was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiants, after the suspension of CSK, but never played a match for them. He was even retained by the franchise for their second season but was not actually used. Now, in the 2018 IPL Auction, Pandey went unsold – showing a huge fall from fame for the talented fast bowler.

Unsold and no longer in consideration for the national side, Pandey is limited to playing domestic cricket for Madhya Pradesh.

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