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IPL 2020: Five Overseas Players that Underperformed this season


IPL 2020: Five Overseas Players that Underperformed this season
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The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has drawn to a close as 2019 Champions Mumbai Indians, lifted the trophy once again at the Final held in Dubai against first-time finalists, Delhi Capitals (previously Delhi Daredevils). 

While there were a series of impressive individual performances throughout this delayed IPL season including from fast bowlers like Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada and Mumbai’s Jasprit Bumrah who ended up on No 1 and 2 on the Purple Cap list. Meanwhile, uncapped Sunrisers Hyderabad seamer, Thangarasu Natarajan showed his skill with death overs bowling and has received a call-up to the Indian T20 touring party for the upcoming Australia series. Natarajan was picked as a late replacement for the injured spinner Varun Chakravarthy who impressed for KKR this season with his bowling. 

However, as with any IPL season, it goes without saying that there were some underperforming players this year as well, leading to serious concern for franchises going forward. So who are some overseas players that didn’t perform on par with the expectations?

1) Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab

Australia limited-overs specialist batter and occasional off-spinner, Glenn Maxwell has a reputation for being of the biggest hitters in limited-overs cricket. However, the batsman failed to stamp authority on this year’s IPL and was criticized from some corners for almost throwing away his wicket on numerous occasions. 

Maxwell averaged 15.42 this year with the bat, having scored 108 runs in 13 games. His strike-rate ended on a subpar 101.88, which is uncharacteristic of Maxwell, and not on par with his own standards.     

This is particularly concerning since KXIP’s batting got off to a good start this year with the skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal scoring a bulk of the team’s runs. Even with Mayank out of the team due to injury in the latter stages, his replacement Chris Gayle did an excellent job. This further meant that the pressure on Maxwell and the middle-order was generally lower thanks to the starts the team received. 

2) Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders

The Aussie fast bowler was the second most expensive player acquisition in IPL history, rising from a base price of INR 2 crores to INR 15.5 crores. Being one of the world’s premier pacemen, KKR depended heavily on his services throughout the series.

However, having played 14 games this season, Cummins could only take 12 wickets returning an average of 34.08 and an economy rate of 7.86. However, to the pacer’s credit, he did showcase his batting abilities with a high-score of 53*, which also happens to be his highest IPL score with the bat.   

3) Isuru Udana (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

This Sri Lankan left-arm pacer is known for his subtle variations and length. However, Udana failed to perform in his first outing at the IPL, having played 10 games to only take 8 wickets at an average of 35.25 and a high economy rate of 9.72. 

His performances in the next season will be crucial, and one could be forgiven for not being too harsh on the pacer given that this was his debut IPL season. However, since Udana is a player with ample international limited-overs experience, questions are bound to arise within the RCB team management. 

4) Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals)

Known for his unconventional batting style, Steve Smith (Australia) had a subpar season with the bat this year as skipper of the Rajasthan Royals. However, his team was rescued on a number of occasions by players like Jos Buttler (England) as well as Indian uncapped players like Rahul Tewatia. Though Ben Stokes found some excellent form later in the tournament, it wasn’t enough to carry the team over to the Playoffs.

Steve Smith scored 311 runs in 14 games at an average of 25.91 and a strike rate of 131.22. Needless to say, this was Smith’s lowest average in an IPL season, with the previous lowest average being 26.63 registered during the 2015 season. 

5) Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

This West Indian all-rounder, known primarily for his dominant batting, was struggling for form this year. However, it was later revealed that Russell was nursing a knee injury, while the team continued to play him during the last few games of the group stages. However, this only made an already bad season worse for Dre Russ, as KKR’s campaign came to a halt before the Playoffs began. 

Russell played 10 games in this year’s edition of the IPL, scoring only 117 runs at an average of 13 but a healthy strike rate of 144.44. By comparison, he scored 510 runs in 14 games with an average of 56.66 + a strike rate of 204.81 in the 2019 iteration of the IPL. 

As for his bowling performances this year, Russell took six wickets at an average of 29.16. However, he only bowled a total of 18 overs this season on account of the injury. 

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