Hits and misses of IPL summer

Hits and misses of IPL summer

There were a clutch of exceptional performances from virtuosos and novices alike, just as some of the greatest names the game has ever seen failed to do justice to their reputations and expectations.

Here’s a look at the hits and misses of IPL III.

HITS

Sachin Tendulkar topped the batting charts.Sachin Tendulkar: Unavailable for international T20 selection, the maestro was in a league of his own. Top run-getter in the competition, captain fantastic, inspirational and talismanic. Throw in courageous too, as he made light of a split webbing and five stitches to play the final. No fairytale finish, but boy, did he entertain!
Runs: 618.

Suresh Raina: The Chennai Super Kings’ batting mainstay, a livewire in the field and handy with the ball with his canny off-spin. For a long part, he ploughed a lone furrow. With support forthcoming, he blitzed the bowling, his unbeaten half-century and the man of the match award in the final taking Dhoni’s men all the way.
Runs: 520. Wkts: 6.

Kieron Pollard: The most expensive player of the IPL arrived in a blaze of expectations and took some time finding his feet, but by the end, he had justified the money spent on him. A complete T20 package if ever there was one – lithe, strong, smart and sharp. Still only 22, the world could well be under his feet in time to come.
Runs: 273. Wkts: 15.

Pragyan Ojha: Man on a mission, youngster with a point to prove. Overlooked for the World T20, the left-arm spinner with the temperament of a fast bowler finished with the most number of wickets, reiterating the value of classical left-arm spin even in a version designed to produce fours and sixes by the bushel.
Wkts: 21.

Anil Kumble: Retired? 39? Time to take his foot off the intensity pedal? No one has quite told Kumble that and if they did, he wasn’t listening. 17 wickets, an economy in the mid 6s, a fantastic leader, the perfect example of grace under pressure and supreme competitiveness, no matter what. They don’t make them like him anymore.
Wkts: 17.

MISSES        

 Matthew Hayden (top, left), AB de Villiers (top, right) and Yuvraj Singh had a forgettable IPL III.Adam Gilchrist: As skipper of the defending champions, he carried a heavy burden. Whether it reflected in his batsmanship is hard to say, but the feared left-hander was a pale shadow of his destructive self. Retirement has clearly dulled his instincts and his reflexes. A huge letdown, if ever there was one.
Runs: 289.

Matthew Hayden: In a similar boat as his former opening partner, the giant Aussie struggled to put bat to ball. One extraordinary innings with his tiny Mongoose was all he had to show. Otherwise, he was made to look all too human and fallible by bowlers he would have had for lunch two years back.
Runs: 346.

Tillakaratne Dilshan: IPL II made Dilshan the destroyer. After a wonderful run with the Delhi Daredevils, he conquered the world in all forms of the game during a golden phase. He began this season with two ducks, went home to get an illness treated, and wasn’t a tenth of the force he had been 12 months back.
Runs: 44. Wkts: 3. 

AB de Villiers: Like Dilshan, a massive failure who lost his place in the eleven even as the Daredevils lost their way in the closing stages of the league phase. The South African carried excellent form with him to India, but mustered just 111 runs from seven matches at a strike rate of less than 100. Golden boy no more.
Runs: 111.

Yuvraj Singh: Six sixes in an over seemed a distant memory as the powerful left-hander struggled to come to terms with the loss of the captaincy and a wrist injury picked up in Bangladesh.
A total of 14 innings without a half-century didn’t compensate for an economy rate of 6.60 as the Kings XI crashed out early. What a fall!
Runs: 255. Wkts: 5.  

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