Indian Premier League: The batting underachievers

BANGALORE, INDIA - FEBRUARY 27: Glenn Maxwell of Australia celebrates scoring the winning runs during game two of the T20I Series between India and Australia at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on February 27, 2019 in Bangalore, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The history of the (IPL) Indian Premier League

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is the biggest cricket tournament worldwide. It offers young players a platform to play for their respective countries, provided they perform well in the IPL. It also offers players who are out of form or looking to establish themselves with their nation, a chance to showcase their talent. Hardik Pandya and Rishabh Pant are prime examples of such players, receiving international call-ups for India because of their IPL performances.

But with opportunities, failure is often inevitable. In this article, we will be looking at the top five batsmen who have underachieved in the IPL. These five players have been selected based on their respective skillset and their potential.

1. Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell has been one of the most frustrating players to watch in the IPL. This is a statement that Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils fans would likely agree with. He has shown heaps of talent but ultimately underachieved in the IPL. A career average of under 23 with a strike rate of 161 illustrates why. He scores rapidly, but ultimately his shot selection leads to his downfall – attempting too many risky shots early in his innings. As a result, he has only passed 400 runs once in five editions of the IPL. In three of those five seasons, he has failed to register a single half-century.

2. Yuvraj Singh

At the 2007 World T20, Yuvraj Singh set the tournament alight – with his range of power hitting. He hit six sixes in a single over against Stuart Broad and scored a match-winning 70 in the semi-finals against Australia. But his IPL record has not been able to match up to the early potential he showed. He has scored 2750 runs at an average of 25 but his career strike rate is only 130. Batsmen of Yuvraj’s calibre should ideally have a strike rate of 150 plus. Despite two good seasons in 2011 and 2014, his overall record suggests he has underachieved.

3. Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch has an overall T20 average of 36 and a strike rate of 144. In comparison, his IPL statistics are significantly worse – a batting average of only 26.32 and a strike rate of 131. This could be because he has been shuffled around the batting order with no stability. He has opened the batting 40 times in the IPL, featured at number four 12 times and at number five 15 times. Finch has also had bad luck with injuries in the IPL, which may have played a part in his inconsistent form.

4. Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan has represented four IPL franchises but failed to establish himself with any of those. One of the reasons for this is that he has not been able to acclimatize himself to Indian conditions. His IPL strike rate is only 121, which is well below his overall T20 strike rate of 132. In attempting to get used to Indian pitches, he has sometimes played cautiously. In addition to this, his batting average is only 21. This shows that once he has been set, he has not able to convert his starts. He has scored four fifties, but only has a highest score of 66. Taking into account both of these stats, there is no doubt Morgan has underachieved in the IPL up till now.

5. Manish Pandey

Manish Pandey has played every IPL season, but his record does not stack up against his counterparts. He has a batting average of 29.30 and a strike rate of 121. Despite producing match-winning performances, such as his century vs Deccan Chargers and his 94 in the final of IPL 2014, he has lacked consistency. One of the reasons could be that he has started slowly in recent IPL seasons, often not accumulating many runs until midway through the campaign. The fact that he has played for five different franchises could also contribute to his inconsistency, due to the time taken to get used to new surroundings.

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