The Indian Premier League is widely regarded as the grandest T20 tournament. The league came into the circuit after India’s emphatic victory at the inaugural T20 world cup. In a tournament where the youngsters were able to defy the odds, things seemed quite bleak for the experienced players across the globe. However, the tables turned when the IPL was introduced by the BCCI.
Now, with expectations looming over the competition, people became more curious about the format. In the inaugural game of the season, New Zealand superstar Brendon Mccullum was able to set up the tone by scoring a blistering 158 against RCB. The following matches went on to attract multiple viewers across the globe and as a result, IPL became a household name. This paved the way for other T20 leagues and soon IPL became a place where talent was given a fair opportunity to shine at the grandest stage.
Another aspect of IPL that makes it to the headlines is the costly signings. Teams take a huge risk by investing money in the players. Sometimes, it works in their favor and sometimes it doesn’t. As seen through various instances, the price tag has often affected the player’s performances and they tend to underperform.
10 costliest signings in IPL history that flopped badly-
10. Shane Bond (KKR, 2010, 3.4 crores)
New Zealand has been home to many iconic fast bowlers. The credit to start this trend in the modern era goes to Shane Bond. The Kiwi fast bowler was well known for his abilities to bowl deadly yorkers and swing the ball on both sides at a genuine pace. During his team’s encounter against Australia, he was able to capture the prized wickets of Adam Gilchrist and Ricky Ponting.
However, the injuries never helped him to be a consistent member of the squad. This meant that he had to spend most of his time in hospitals. However, in 2010, he was able to grab an IPL contract and he represented the Kolkata Knight Riders. During his tenure at KKR, he was able to take 9 wickets in eight matches at an economy of 7.22.
But, in a season where the bowlers dominated throughout the tournament, the fans might have expected him to play a few more games in the season. Shane Bond is a legend of the modern era, but a costly price tag of 3.4 crores does not justify his performance. Rather, the price tag would have been justified if he was included in the squad regularly.
9. Varun Chakravarthy( Kings XI Punjab, 2019, 8.4 crores)
Varun Chakravarthy belongs to the group of players who were able to grab the attention of various IPL teams by their performance in TNPL. To date, Varun has a mystery tag around his name and made it to the national team after an impressive IPL season with the Kolkata Knight Riders. In the thirteenth season, he had the best bowling figures of 5/20 in four overs!
However, the mystery spinner was bought by KXIP in 2019 as the Punjab based franchise was looking for Indian mystery spinners. This intention of including a mystery spinner in their arsenal made them spend over 8.4 crores during the 2019 IPL auctions. He represented the team for only a single game in which he conceded 35 runs in three overs!
Well, for the mystery spinner, the price tag added more pressure as the Indian uncapped player was on the receiving end during that match. However, the tables turned for Varun as he joined the Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2020 season. During the thirteen matches, he conceded 356 runs off 312 balls with an economy rate of 6.84. This performance grabbed the attention of the selectors as he was drafted into the national team. But, a heavy price value never helped him to retain his place in KXIP.
8. Pawan Negi ( DD, 2018, 8.5 crores)
Pawan Negi belongs to a group of cricketers who succeeded under the leadership of M.S. Dhoni but failed under different franchises. The left-arm spinner was a great asset for the Chennai Super Kings but he failed to make a mark while representing the Delhi Daredevils and the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Ahead of the 2016 season, he made the headlines after the Delhi based franchise bought him for a whopping 8.5 crores.
However, just like Jaydev Unadkat, he failed to contribute on a substantial scale for DD. In the eight matches he played, he was able to take only a single wicket at an expensive economy rate of 9.33. During the whole season, he bowled only 54 balls! Talking about his batting, he had a poor strike rate of 96.61 with the highest score of 19*.
It is very much clear that the left-arm spinner had succumbed under pressure. For an uncapped player, a price tag of 8.5 crores is something out of expectation. After his tenure with the Daredevils, he was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore, where he underperformed. It looks like a huge price only adds to the pressure for uncapped players.
7. Shane Watson (RCB, 2016, 9.5 crores)
Shane Watson grew up as a formidable all-rounder under the show of an iconic Australian batting lineup. With a magnificent ball-striking ability, he was able to tear apart any bowling line-up on his day. His popularity in the subcontinent grew when he delivered a man-of-the-tournament effort during the first edition of the Indian Premier League. Under Shane Watson, he was able to perform brilliantly with both bat and the ball.
However, he had a poor IPL season with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. During the 2016 IPL auctions, he was bought by the Bangalore-based franchise for 9.5 crores. But, the RCB lineup performed poorly during the group stages, and later on in that season, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle single-handedly carried RCB into the playoffs. In the final, RCB suffered a middle-order collapse as the finished second in the lucrative tournament.
During the 2016 season, he was a regular member of the RCB playing eleven. But, he was never able to perform accordion to his expectations as an all-rounder as he scored only 179 runs in the tournament. Talking about his bowling, he had an economy rate of 8.58 in sixteen matches. In the final, he conceded over forty runs in four overs which was the deciding factor of the match.
6. Andrew Flintoff (CSK, 2009, 9.8 crores)
Andrew Flintoff was widely regarded as the modern generation’s Ian Botham. The all-rounder had an average of 31 with the bat and 32 with the ball. Even though this average was not God-like, he was able to inspire the English lineup during critical stages of the game. The allrounder was able to gain the attention of the media and this made him a popular figure in world cricket.
Freddie Flintoff was bought by the Chennai Super Kings during the second season of the IPL and the English all-rounder was the costliest player during the auction. With an impressive ability to bowl quick and score quickfire runs, everyone expected him to perform well in that season, One of the main reason CSK had bought Flintoff in their squad was because of their quest for an allrounder. But a price tag of 9.8 crores was never justified by his performances.
The English all-rounder played in three matches and conceded 105 runs off 66 balls. The all-rounder had a poor economy rate of 9.54 and a strike rate of 33, which is considered costly in the shortest format of the game. Talking about his batting, he scored 62 runs in 53 balls. This performance was never expected from Flintoff and 9.8 crores for three matches enables him to make it to this list.
5. Kevin Pietersen (RCB, 2009, 9.8 crores)
Kevin Pietersen is widely regarded as one of the greats of English cricket. Most of the fans remember Kevin as the youngster who smashed the Aussies during the 2005 Ashes series. Talking about his limited-overs format performances, he delivered a man of the tournament performance during the 2010 ICC T20 World Cup. However, this came after his poor IPL season in 2009.
During the 2009 IPL auctions, he was bought by the RCB for a huge amount of 9.8 crores. As RCB looked for redemption after a disastrous IPL season in 2008, Kevin looked like RCB’s go-to man at the top of their batting line up. However, he scored only 93 runs with a poor strike rate of 109.41 in six matches for the Bangalore based franchise. This was Kevin’s worst performance in an IPL season.
Talking about his bowling, he had a better outing as he bowled with an economy rate of 6.53 and took four wickets. However, as Anil Kumble’s team was able to reach the final with a strong team in which there was no place for Kevin, a price tag of 9.8 crores looks like a waste of money. But, he had brilliant IPL seasons in 2010 and 2011 as he performed brilliantly with the bat. But, a price tag of 9.8 crores and an under-par performance enables Kevin to make it to this list of 10 costliest signings in IPL history who flopped badly.
4. Jaydev Unadkat (RR, 2018, 11.5 crores)
Jaydev Unadkat has been the victim of trollers over the years. However, the left-arm pacer had an excellent start in IPL 2017 in which he represented RPS. His ability to move the ball both ways was one of the strongest arsenals for Steven Smith’s team. During the 2010 World Cup, he lead the Indian bowling lineup which paved the way for a lucrative IPL contract.
Later, Jaydev was drafted into the international team and his skills in the white-ball game were highly praised by the analysts. But, during the post-2017 season, his performance degraded and as a result, his price value drew the attention of many people across the globe. After his 2017 heroics, he gained a jaw-dropping price at the 2018 auctions.
During that auction season, RR bought him for a whopping amount of 8.4 crores. And, this added to Jaydev’s downfall. After that season, the Royals chose to release him, and in an attempt to buy back the left-arm pacer, they had to spend 8.4 crores! It looked like the RR management team never wanted to proceed without Jaydev. This story of Javdev Unadkat underperforming during the 2018 and 2019 seasons depicts that the high price tag value sometimes backfires!
3. Tymal Mills ( RCB, 2017, 11.5 crores)
During 2016 and 2017, Tymal Mills made it to the headlines of various newspapers because of his auction price of 11.5 crores. The left-arm pace bowler was well known for his raw pace and during the 2013-2014 Ashes series, few people had suggested the inclusion of Mills as an answer to Johnson’s devastating pace. His performances in the domestic circuit helped him to grab the attention of various analysts of the IPL franchises.
Mills made his debut against Sri Lanka at Southampton on 5th July 2016 and soon became a household name by performing well in various T20 leagues. This made him a popular name amongst the franchises as most of the teams were looking for a left-arm seamer. After a long tussle at the auction, he was finally sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore at a huge amount of 11.5 crores. But, for Mills, his performance never justified the price tag.
He was never a regular member of the squad as he was a bit expensive during his stay at RCB. In the five matches he played, he was able to grab five wickets with an economy rate of 8.57. During a time when RCB was performing poorly, Mill’s failure never helped Virat Kohli’s team to gain momentum. Even though it is a bit harsh to state that his price tag was the reason behind his failure, an amount of 11.5 crores for only five matches looked costly!
2. Dinesh Karthik (DD, 2014, 12.5 crores)
Dinesh Karthik belongs to a group of Indian wicketkeepers who were overshadowed by the excellent performance of M.S. Dhoni for over a decade. Even though Karthik was never able to establish himself as a regular wicketkeeper, his batting skills enabled him to be a member of the Indian national team. He did the work as an opener in a few Tests and a middle-order batsman in the ODIs. Talking about his records in the IPL, he has a good record of 3823 runs in 196 matches.
During the mid-2010s, Karthik was seen as the best wicketkeeper-batsman option for the teams. He was able to anchor the innings and play the role of a finisher. During the 2014 season, he was bought by the Delhi Daredevils at a whopping amount of 12.5 crores. But, a run tally of 325 runs at a mediocre strike rate of 125.96 was seen as a waste of a huge amount by the Daredevils. His performance was never enough to help his team to get into the playoffs.
However, Karthik had memorable IPL performances thereafter during the years 2019, 2018, and 2017. But, as he scored over 300 runs with a poor strike rate, his price value is never justified. This amount of money could have been invested in mystery players as the team struggled throughout the season.
1. Yuvraj Singh (RCB, 2014, 14 crores)
Yuvraj Singh became a big name in the T20 format after hitting Broad for six-sixes in an over. As the format of the Indian Premier League was shaping up, Yuvraj became one of the biggest attractions for the franchises. The swashbuckling left-hander could turn the game on its head with his immense striking abilities and part-time off-spinners. However, his performance took a downfall after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Even after some average performances, he was drafted into the RCB squad in 2014 with a whopping amount of 14 crores. In the fourteen matches he played, he scored around 376 runs. Although a run tally of over 300 runs in a particular IPL season looks impressive, his team was unable to make it to the playoffs. Talking about his bowling he had an economy rate of 8.25, which is mediocre.
An amount of 14 crores looks too costly for an average performance like Yuvraj’s. In the thirteen matches he played, he took five wickets. His best bowling figures during that season was 4/35, he took only a single wicket in thirteen matches. Therefore, with an average performance, he makes it to this list of the 10 worst costliest signings in IPL history who flopped badly.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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