With the completion of the second week of the IPL, qualification scenarios are lining up well for each side. Only RCB being off the mark, the race to playoffs is catching heat. As of the end of the second week (Match 21) KKR are at the top of the table having played a game less and RCB are languishing at the bottom of the table, likely to get the wooden spoon if they persist with the path that they are on.
Every week has its own standout performers and performances, and at the same time, some underwhelming and poor shows. This week was no different too and we may not see a few players for a while now, owing to their poor performances which aren’t helping their team’s cause, and so, at CT we have prepared a list of 5 players who should be axed following a difficult second week that they endured.
The stylish Right-handed batsman from Karnataka hasn’t replicated the form that he showed in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. To top that, Manish Pandey hasn’t justified the hefty price tag that he was bought for, before the start of the 2018 IPL season. The faith that was shown in him when the SRH think-tank decided to retain him for this year’s edition. SRH built their middle-order around Manish Pandey and his regularly irregular and disappointing performances have done no good to the team’s cause.
In the 5 matches that he has fared in, the 29-year-old has got scores of 8 not out, 1, DNB, 10, 16. These lackluster performances have dented the progress of the Middle-order of SRH and Manish Pandey has had a disappointing second week, managing only 26 runs (2 innings) at a strike rate of 76. One can expect SRH to drop Manish Pandey from the XI to include someone like Abhishek Sharma, who showed a lot of promise in the last edition.
Another SRH player who couldn’t replicate his domestic success for the Hyderabad based franchise, but this time from Baroda. While Hooda’s string of low scores could be ignored had Manish fired but the latter’s consistent failures have brought Hooda’s string of scores into the limelight as well. Hooda has been a part of SRH for a long time now and the management has shown enough faith in him.
The 24-year old’s inability to score big despite good starts hasn’t really helped the team and Hooda could manage only 30 runs in the 2 games he played in the second week of IPL, registering scores of 10 & 20. If the team management insists on persisting with Manish for a bit longer, one can expect Abhishek Sharma or Sreevats Goswami coming in as a specialist batsman in place of the Baroda all-rounder. The Sunrisers need to take a quick decision on Hooda’s status and in CT’s opinion, Hooda should be axed from the squad for the time being.
The Hyderabad-born pacer showed a lot of promise when he played for the Sunrisers and he was expected to lead in the death-overs for the RCB. But Siraj contributes to RCB’s constant failures this season. Siraj has had an economy of 8.94 this season and his death-bowling skills haven’t exactly lit the stage on fire, this time around. What needs to be noted is his inconsistency.
Siraj did deliver against the Rajasthan Royals but failed miserably against the KKR and perhaps his beamer to Andre Russell was the turning point of the match, a match that RCB literally had in their pockets. Siraj conceded 36 runs in 2.2 overs and he had to be taken off the attack midway following a second, pacy beamer of the night. With not much score to defend against Delhi Capitals, Siraj didn’t bowl his full quota of 4 overs but it’ll be interesting to see if RCB does persist with the 25 year-old.
Dhawan’s move to DC has backfired big time and he has been one of the major disappointments of this year’s IPL. Last year, one could see Dhawan carrying the Sunrisers batting line-up on his shoulders along with Williamson but this year, Dhawan looks like a batsman who is woefully out of touch and form. The 34-year-old needs to be benched for a while so that he finds his rhythm and form lest DC will be playing with a full number squad which is as good as a 10-man squad.
Keeping in mind the ICC World Cup 2019, Dhawan needs to keep himself in a positive and good mind space as India’s WC hopes depend on the starts that he provides the team, as well. The left-handed batsman has only managed to amass 152 runs from 6 games at an underwhelming strike rate of 118. Dhawan’s last three scores read 30, 12, and 0 and this clearly shows that he’s not in the best of form at the moment and he should be benched for a few games.
Prasidh Krishna has only got a solitary wicket in the 5 matches that he has featured in for the KKR and has leaked runs at an economy of close to 10. This reason should be the lone basis to axe him from the squad. While getting his first wicket in the second week of the IPL might be his best till now, it’s certainly underwhelming and poor, going by KKR’s standards.
Yes, he bowls the difficult overs at the death but he’s also entrusted with the responsibility of bowling at the start, which is relatively easier. Krishna has not delivered so far and with just one wicket to his name, one can see him facing the axe for someone like Shrikant Mundhe.
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