Last year the IPL was postponed because of the ungodly COVID-19 pandemic and was held in the UAE. The players had to adjust to the conditions of the UAE which were slightly different from India where the IPL is usually played. Players like KL Rahul, Kagiso Rabada, and Shikhar Dhawan had wonderful seasons while a few notable names had an average season.
This year, the IPL is set to be played back in its original country, here in India. Top performers will be looking to continue their performance while others will be keen to turn their fortunes around.
Out of the underperforming players, many are great players whose potential can be unleashed anytime. One bad season does not define their quality and they are expected to be back in the reckoning.
Hence, we pick 5 underperforming players from 2020 who will have a good season in 2021:
1. Glenn Maxwell
The “Big Show” was a no-show in the 2020 season of the IPL. Glenn Maxwell was picked by his ex-franchise, Punjab Kings for a whopping amount of INR 10.75 crores. When the IPL was announced to be played in the UAE, the expectations from Maxwell further grew because of his exploits there in 2014.
But to the surprise of many, Maxwell had a dreadful tournament in 2020. He scored a total of just 108 runs in 13 matches. Furthermore, Maxwell did not strike a single sixer in the entire season! With his part-time bowling too he picked up a mere three wickets.
After such a season, he was released by the franchise and was back in the auction. This time he was picked by RCB for an even higher price of INR 14.25 crores. Maxwell is an impact player and he should never be underestimated. He has had many flop seasons recently and is due for a blockbuster season. Playing for a new franchise he too will be keen to put up a good performance and once he gets going it will be very difficult to stop him.
2. Andre Russell
The Caribbean star was in dismal form in the last IPL season and was not able to get a big knock under his belt. With such a tremendous season in 2019, a lot was expected from KKR’s Andre Russell. As a result, KKR did not have a successful season and were knocked out before the playoffs.
Russell played 10 games in the season and scored merely 117 runs at an average of 13. He did score them at a decent strike rate of 144 but these numbers are quite underwhelming for someone like him. He was constantly nagged by a knee injury which was a major reason behind him underperforming. Owing to the injury he bowled very little in the tournament and took only six wickets.
This year he has been retained by the Knight Riders and they will be hoping that Dre Russ is back in form. He shall be at his 100%, if not any late injury, and can create havoc in the tournament by his hard-hitting and can also chip in with wickets. One should not be surprised if he becomes the MVP of the season.
3. Ravindra Jadeja
“Sir” Jadeja too could not make a big impact in the 2020 season of the IPL. Ravindra Jadeja is India’s prime all-rounder in all formats but could not weave magic in the last season. CSK had an unsuccessful tournament last time and Jadeja’s form was one of the reasons.
Jadeja picked up only six wickets in the 14 matches he played in the season. This is the second-lowest number of wickets in a season for him in his entire IPL career. He did chip in with some valuable runs, scoring 232 runs at an average of 46, but overall, he had a pretty average season.
This year the IPL is back in India and that too at limited venues. With the wickets getting drier as the season progresses, the spinners will get more turn. Jadeja will look to get his form back and help CSK qualify for the playoffs.
4. Rishabh Pant
The swashbuckling batsman made the headlines recently because of his heroics in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. But, before that series, Rishabh Pant was coming from a very ordinary IPL season in the UAE. As a result, he was also not selected for the limited-overs leg of the Australia tour.
Pant scored 343 runs in 14 matches of the season at an average of 35. Although these statistics are decent in T20 cricket, a lot more was expected from him this season. The major problem pointed out was that he was not converting starts into big knocks.
But after the IPL, Pant played really well in the Test tour of Australia and was also the ICC player of January month. Thus, Pant is now back in really good form and with the IPL starting in about a month’s time, he looks set for a blockbuster season.
5. Pat Cummins
There was a lot of talk around Pat Cummins ever since he was picked by KKR for a whopping INR 15.5 crores in the 2020 auction. Many considered this as an overpriced buy which later came out to be true as Cummins did not have a very successful season for KKR.
Cummins picked a total of only 12 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 31. His economy was around eight, but he failed to get wickets regularly putting pressure on the other bowlers. He contributed with valuable runs down the order but as a whole, he had a below-par tournament.
This year Cummins has been retained by KKR and the expectations are high again. If KKR play at their home ground at the Eden Gardens, he will get good help from the pitch as the surface there has been offering pace and bounce in recent years. If he gets in his rhythm, he can have a very good season.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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