There is a lot that goes behind the scenes in picking an IPL squad. A lot of scouting is done for unknown and uncapped players while there is a lot of analysis that comes into the picture for international players. Hence, teams retain a few players and buy a few from the auction.
Thus, in all, around about 20-25 players are present in the squad. However, there isn’t a guarantee that everyone will play. There are quality players who might walk into any other T20 side but find it tough to break into the XI in the IPL. One of the reasons may be the dynamics of those respective teams as well. For instance, Glenn Maxwell played a mere three games in 2013 for Mumbai Indians.
However, there are a lot more players who have been unluckier and haven’t got a lot of chances through multiple seasons. Thus, here is a look at five unlucky players in the history of the IPL.
1. Baba Aparajith
Baba Aparajith is one of those players who shot in the limelight because of the Under19 World Cup. In 2012, he was a part of the Unmukt Chand-led Indian team that lifted the title. He had even played a crucial part in the knockouts, winning player of the match awards in the quarter-final and semi-final.
It was only a few months before the World Cup that he made his first-class debut for Tamil Nadu as a 17-year-old. Hence, since then, Aparajith has been around and is a regular member of the Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket. However, the batting all-rounder has never featured in an IPL game. He has been a part of a couple of IPL teams but has not even come close to making his debut.
Aparajith has been a part of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) but hasn’t played at all. He has a decent record in domestic cricket. He has shown that this year. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder was very good in the TNPL this year and has continued his good run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy as well. Thus, Aparajith has been one of the unlucky ones to have never played a single IPL game.
2. Ben Cutting
It is rather surprising to see someone like Ben Cutting who can have an impact with both bat and ball play just 21 IPL games. The tall Australian all-rounder has been pretty consistent even in those 21 games. He may not have outstanding numbers but he has had a good impact for whichever team he has played.
Cutting made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals in 2014 but lasted just one game. In 2016 and 2017, he was a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) side. He only played four games each but had a big impact. In fact, Cutting was the player of the match in the final of the 2016 season. He scored a 15-ball 39 before picking a couple of important wickets.
In 2018, the lanky all-rounder was bought by Mumbai Indians but he’s been constantly in and out of the team despite putting in some consistent performances. Hence, he can be counted as one of the unluckiest players in the history of the IPL.
3. Shahbaz Nadeem
Shahbaz Nadeem may not only be one of the unluckier players in the IPL but also in Indian cricket in general. He has been pretty consistent in domestic cricket and there’s hardly been any time when he’s got any spotlight. He is not a spinner who will run through sides. The left-arm spinner can do the containing job and has done that pretty well too.
Nadeem made his IPL debut back in 2011. He was with the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) for as many as eight seasons before he moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). However, despite not performing too badly, Nadeem never played an entire season. There were three successive seasons where he played more than 10 games but apart from that, he’s not got any consistent opportunities.
Hence, the left-arm spinner from Delhi has been a touch unlucky. He has a T20 career economy of 6.81 and has done the job on multiple occasions in the IPL as well.
4. Nathu Singh
It was in the 2015-16 Ranji season that Nathu Singh made headlines. He took 7/87 on debut for Rajasthan. And a few months later, the big-built fast bowler was once again in the spotlight. Mumbai Indians (MI) had shelled out a stunning INR 3.2 crores in the IPL auction in 2016. He couldn’t have asked for a better debut season.
However, Nathu never played a game for MI. All the hype and build-up had gone for a toss. A year later, he made his IPL debut while playing for Gujarat Lions. Even that lasted for a mere two games. He bowled four overs across two games and conceded just 15 runs and picked up a wicket.
Moreover, when he was bought by MI, he had a good T20 record. In 11 T20 matches, he had picked up 21 wickets. Even today, his T20 record stands at 30 wickets from 19 games. Hence, despite getting so much limelight, Nathu hasn’t got consistent opportunities.
5. Eoin Morgan
One could argue how could a player with 50+ IPL games be unlucky. However, given Eoin Morgan’s ability and cricketing brain, it is quite less. When Morgan shot into the limelight in the late 2000s, there was a lot of hype around him. He was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for $220,000 in IPL 2010. However, he played just six games in that season.
But in 2011 and 2013, Morgan got a lot more opportunities at Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). In fact, he played 26 games across two seasons. In 2015 and 2016, the England white-ball skipper was a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) squad. He performed decently but in 2017, SRH decided to release him.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) bought him in 2017 where he struggled. However, it was the inconsistent opportunities that hampered him and affected his form. Moreover, not only with the bat, he has been unlucky not to get a captaincy role despite doing a great job with England in the shorter formats.
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