This year’s Indian Premier League was evidence of the fact that class may be permanent and form temporary, but it is form and form alone in a short two-month tournament that will win the league. Gujarat Titans’ title journey is a proof of it. Players however were bought and retained based on class, which is a common trait in auctions of all kinds.
However, it was the classy players that disappointed their teams and fans the most. They failed to deliver on their potential and recall value. Here’s a list of such players, who were paid heavily, but did not justify their salaries at all.
Ravindra Jadeja – Rs 16 cr
Jadeja did not just fail to deliver with bat and ball, which is one thing because the form cannot be with you all the time. But he was given additional responsibilities of captaining, even without having any experience of captainship at any level. It was a mistake both on the part of the management as well as Jadeja himself to agree to it. The Indian all-rounder was also paid more than MS Dhoni as he pocketed Rs 16 crore for this season.
This resulted in a major disaster as Chennai Super Kings had to change their captain mid-way. It could have still been bearable as they had MS Dhoni to take over those duties and management and fans believed that Jadeja, after being freed of the burden of captaincy, might be able to give his best on the field. But he could not and eventually got injured as well. In total, he scored only 116 runs with the bat and took only five wickets in the 10 matches that he played, thus failing in both the departments.
Rohit Sharma – Rs 16 cr
While Ishan Kishan was a failure no doubt, he did amend his ways towards the end to find some sort of form. Rohit on the other hand was just not able to do the same even as his team went out of the reckoning for the playoffs’ spot. In the 14 matches that he played, Rohit could only score 226 runs at a lowly average of 19.12 and was unable to cross the fifty run mark even once in the entire season.
His failure with the bat transferred to failure in the captaincy too as he was not able to inspire the lads and lead from the front. His team finished last on the points table for the first time in 15 years in the IPL. Rohit was retained for Rs 16 cr.
Ishan Kishan – Rs 15.25 cr
The costliest player in the league this year at Rs 15.25 cr, Ishan Kishan turned out to be a huge disappointment for Mumbai Indians. Not only was he scoring too few runs to start with, he was also scoring those runs very slowly, putting a lot of pressure on his partner and Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma, who eventually flopped himself.
Ishan did score a great 81 not out by the end of the tournament and did find some sort of form, but by the time it happened, it was already too late to salvage anything for his side. The Jharkhand player finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament for the Mumbai side, but that would not wash away the fact that it was his non-performance at the start of the season that poked a hole in the Mumbai ship, which eventually sank. Ishan scored 418 runs at 32.15 with three half-centuries to his name.
Virat Kohli – Rs 15 cr
Kohli was probably the biggest failure of the season by many standards. But since his team Royal Challengers Bangalore was not dependent on him for the first time, his failure did not trouble the fans and management as much as it would have in other years. Kohli, who was retained for Rs 15 cr by his team, made only 341 runs in 16 innings. Early on, he was not even able to get into the double figures, but eventually with two fifties to his name, he was able to somewhat redeem himself. In the big games in the playoffs, he failed twice and thus ended a bad IPL season for Kohli.
Shreyas Iyer- Rs 12.25 cr
Another captain and another failure could be the tag line of Kolkata Knight Riders’ past few seasons as they have not been able to find a performing captain for their team in the last few years, ever since Gautam Gambhir left the scene. No doubt that Eoin Morgan was able to lead them to the final of the 2021 season, but his performance this year was worse than just bad.
This year though, neither the team nor the captain could get going and as a result, Knight Riders, even after having a few very classy wins in their bag, failed to make it to the playoffs. Iyer, who was bought for Rs 12.25 cr did score 401 runs but no one would be able to call any of his innings a match-winning one and that’s where the difference was made.
Because he was not able to play the match-winning knocks or carry the team home on his shoulders, as a leader too, he failed to make a mark.