The countdown to the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has begun. While it is every team’s ambition to win the coveted trophy, only one team can do it each year. Just like every sport, in cricket also there are teams who have established themselves are giants of the IPL (Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings). On the other hand, there are teams who have never won the trophy and struggle to even make it to the playoffs (Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore).
Obviously the judgement of whether a season was a success or a failure is subjective in some cases. But we can all agree that if a team finishes the league stage at the bottom of the points table, it has to go down as a failure. There are three teams (of the original 8) who have never finished rock bottom i.e Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals. Delhi Capitals (formerly known as Delhi Daredevils) carry the unfortunate tag of bagging the last spot on 4 occasions, which is a record.
Pune Warriors India, who played in the IPL during the 2011-2013 period, finished bottom of the table on 1 occasion and second last in the other two seasons which makes them the least successful side in the terms of average league position. Delhi Capitals deserve a mention for being the most inconsistent side. In 2011, they finished 10th in the only IPL season which had 10 teams. In 2012, they finished as table toppers which shocked everyone. They followed that fruitful campaign by finishing last during the next 2 seasons.
Here is a year-wise list of teams that bagged the last spot on the points table in the IPL:
1. 2008 – Deccan Chargers
Deccan Chargers started the 2008 campaign as one of the favourites. They could boast of players like Adam Gilchrist, Andrew Symonds, Shahid Afridi, Scott Styris and Herschelle Gibbs. As a team could include 5 overseas players in the line-up in 2008, Deccan Chargers held a strong advantage over other teams. In Rohit Sharma, they had one of the best young Indian players as well.
They had a strong Indian contingent as well, with the likes of Pragyan Ojha, RP Singh and captain VVS Laxman within their ranks. Andrew Symonds, who was Deccan’s most expensive player, batted only 3 innings before leaving to play for the Australian national team. In addition, the team captain V.V.S. Laxman had an injury which ended his season after 6 games.
Only three bowlers RP Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Shahid Afridi took more than 4 wickets in the competition. In this 14 match period, the team went on a losing streak at home and only managed 2 wins overall, one against the Mumbai Indians and one against the Chennai Super Kings and as a result, they finished at the bottom of the table. They fulfilled their potential by winning the title in 2009 after a change in the team structure.
2. 2009 – Kolkata Knight Riders
Under the captaincy of local boy Sourav Ganguly, Kolkata Knight Riders were one of the favourites in the 2008 season. They finished 6th on the table and Brendon McCullum was appointed the captain following that season. The new rule of using 4 overseas players instead of 5 affected Kolkata Knight Riders the most as they were stacked with a lot of class foreign players in the inaugural season of the IPL.
The 2009 season is by far the worst in the history of the franchise. Kolkata Knight Riders finished at the bottom of the ranking table with three wins and ten losses. They also went on a nine-game losing streak which finally ended with a win over Chennai Super Kings in Pretoria. This was the only season which was played in South Africa due to the terrorist attack in Mumbai.
Despite the poor on-field performance of the team, the Kolkata Knight Riders were ranked as the richest team in the tournament with a brand value of $42.1 million. The team was in turmoil on the field and this coincided with a blog by an anonymous author claiming to be a member of the team surfaced on the web which attracted a lot of media attention.
3. 2010 – Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab had a good start to their IPL journey as they finished 2nd during the 2008 campaign. They were unlucky not to make the playoffs in the following campaign as they lost out to Deccan Chargers on net run rate. In 2010, they had a season to forget as they finished bottom of the table with only 8 points under their belt.
They had a horrendous start to the season as they lost 7 of the first 8 matches. In the only match were they Juan “Rusty” Theron rescued them in a super over. They won four matches after a torrid start, thanks to impressive performances by Mahela Jayawardene and Irfan Pathan– leading run-scorer and leading wicket-taker for Kings XI Punjab during that season.
Kings XI Punjab were boosted by the return of Brett Lee against Kolkata Knight Riders, but he was not at his best. Shaun Marsh returned in the match against the Mumbai Indians. In spite of his good performance, which included a half-century, the team lost the match. They ended up losing 10 matches that season which was their worst performance until the 2015 season.
4. 2011 – Delhi Daredevils
With the increasing popularity of the IPL, 2 new teams were added to the mix (Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Pune Warriors India) and the 2011 campaign had the most number of teams (10). Delhi Capitals was known as Delhi Daredevils back then and finished joint bottom of the league on 9 points. Their home form was appalling as they won only one match at Feroz Shah Kotla.
Their captain Virender Sehwag was a part of a star-studded batting line up and to some extent, they did the job with the bat but the bowlers couldn’t reciprocate from the other end of the spectrum. The Nawab of Najafgarh scored 424 runs and had some valuable support from the likes of Venugopal Rao and Aussie star player David Warner. Morne Morkel took the most wickets with 13 scalps to his name.
In the 2012 IPL season, a new side of the Delhi Daredevils was seen after a poor 2011 season where they finished last. They came back strongly, having purchased players such as England batting great Kevin Pietersen, Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayawardene, and Kiwi batsman Ross Taylor and ended up finishing at the top of the table which made their fans forget about the disappointing 2011 campaign.
5. 2012 – Pune Warriors India
Due to the disbanding of the Kochi Tuskers Kerala, each team played the remaining eight teams twice, once at home and once away. Therefore, each team played an extended season of 16 matches. While one of the 2 new teams were no longer a part of the league, the other one wasn’t breaking any records either. They finished rock bottom in 2012 after being lucky to finish 2nd last during the 2011 season thanks to a better net run rate.
Pune Warriors had differences with BCCI regarding the amount of franchise fee to be paid by the Pune team. The Subrata Roy-owned side decided to boycott the IPL auction for the same reason. Due to Yuvraj’s unavailability for the entire season, Ganguly was made the captain of the franchise. Ganguly was also made part of the coaching staff as a mentor.
The team started off their IPL 2012 campaign with wins against Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab away and at home respectively. But just like in 2011, the team could not maintain the initial momentum and again won only two more matches that season. Midway through the season, Ganguly was sacked as captain and was dropped from the team due to lack of results. Pune finished last that season with 4 wins and 12 losses in 16 matches.
6. 2013 – Delhi Daredevils
Delhi Capitals lost their first six matches of IPL 2013. Virender Sehwag and Mahela Jayawardene’s partnership led to a win against the Mumbai Indians, in which they scored 161 runs. Sehwag was the given the man of the match award for his innings of 95* off 57 balls. They also defeated defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders but they were inconsistent throughout the campaign.
Facing IPL newbies Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Delhi Daredevils were bowled out for just 80 runs. New recruit Ben Rohrer scored a half-century against Rajasthan Royals but it went in vain as they lost that match and were eventually eliminated from the IPL as they could no longer make it to the playoffs mathematically. They won only 3 matches that season and finished bottom of the league.
Despite seeing a forgettable season, a few big names were added to the support staff as the season progressed. The legendary West Indies batsman Sir Vivian Richards was named as their new brand ambassador. David Warner was their highest run scorer with 410 runs under his belt and Indian pacer Umesh Yadav was leading their bowling attack with 14 wickets during the forgetful campaign.
7. 2014 – Delhi Daredevils
After an abysmal performance in 2013, things could have only improved for the Delhi Daredevils. Ahead of the IPL 2014 auction, on 10 January 2014, the Delhi Daredevils announced that they would not retain any players from their current squad for the upcoming season. With no players retained, the team had the most RTM cards and they also had Rs 600 million to spend at the auction.
The Delhi Daredevils experienced another poor season in 2014. The Delhi Daredevils two matches out of the first 5 matches, defeating Kolkata Knight Riders and defending champions Mumbai Indians which wasn’t a bad start. Later, when the tournament shifted from the makeshift venue in the United Arab Emirates to India, Delhi lost their next nine matches.
The Delhi Daredevils won only two out of their fourteen matches, both of which took place in the adopted venue in the UAE. Despite their poor performance, South African all-rounder JP Duminy, the team captain scored 410 runs from fourteen matches at an average of 51.25. The Delhi Daredevils once again finished last with the joint-lowest points tally (4) in any season.
8. 2015 – Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab have made it to the final of the IPL only once, in 2014. After their most successful campaign, things could have only gone worse for the Preity Zinta-owned side and that’s exactly what happened. They exceeded expectations in 2014 and that wasn’t going to happen every year. The side only won 3 games in the league stage and finished the tournament’s group stage at the bottom of the table.
David Miller finished the season as top scorer with 357 runs and Anureet Singh finished the season as the top wicket-taker with 15 wickets. One can only imagine how bad the rest of the senior bowlers must have bowled if the leading wicket-taker was an uncapped player. Star player Glenn Maxwell had a season to forget as he scored just 145 runs in 11 matches.
They defeated Mumbai Indians after posting a total of 177 runs and Royal Challengers Bangalore in a match which was shortened to 10 overs due to rains. Their third match was won during the super over which just goes to show how below par their season was, especially when one considers they were inches away from winning the previous IPL season.
9. 2016 – Kings XI Punjab
This was the third and final time the Kings XI Punjab were given the wooden spoon. Following the 2 year suspension of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants were set to take their places in the 8-team setup. David Miller and Murali Vijay captained the team in the first and second half of the 2016 season respectively.
This was a very weird season for the IPL for various reasons. Gujarat Lions finished top of the table with a negative net run rate. Virat Kohli, who was one of the reasons why that happened, finished the season with an almost unbelievable tally of 973 runs! Moreover, this was the only season when both Mumbai Indians and the team comprising MS Dhoni both failed to qualify to the playoffs.
The team finished eighth once again with only four wins. Murali Vijay was the top scorer with 453 runs and Sandeep Sharma was the top wicket taker with 15 wickets. Kings XI Punjab’s wins came against newcomers Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants, Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals. Virender Sehwag joined as head coach as the team looked to recover from two back-to-back last-place finishes in the league.
10. 2017 – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Although on the basis of points, this might not be the worst season by any team in IPL history, it definitely had it’s share of bad moments. After a successful 2016 campaign, RCB fans were in full force with the “Ee Sala Cup Namde” chants. They more or less lost the tournament in the auction itself by spending an outrageous amount of 12 crore on Tymal Mills whose impact on the team was negligible.
None of the other auction signings made any notable impact and it was again down to the likes of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB De Villiers to save their season. The team was the hit with injuries as their captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers did not play for the initial matches which led to the making of Shane Watson as the interim captain. KL Rahul was ruled out for the season due to his prolonged injury.
On 23rd April in 2013, Royal Challengers posted a total of 263/5 against Pune Warriors India which is the highest in the history on the tournament. On the same day, four years later, they scored the lowest runs in IPL as Kolkata Knight Riders bowled them out for just 49 runs. They also scored low totals like 96/9 against Rising Pune Supergiant and 119 all out against Kings XI Punjab.
11. 2018 – Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals had gone three seasons without finishing at the bottom of the table as they headed into the 2018 campaign. In the mega auction, they retained Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris and Rishabh Pant and decided to re-sign former captain Gautam Gambhir. Although he had captained Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies, he couldn’t turn Delhi Capitals’ fortunes on his own and they finished bottom of the league for a record 4th time.
Coach Rahul Dravid had to quit his job as the coach in order to protect his position as coach of India A and India U-19. Ricky Ponting was appointed as the new coach. The only positive from this season was the growth of Rishab Pant as a solid batsman. The Delhite scored 684 at an average of 52.61 and with a strike rate of 173.60. He bagged the IPL emerging player of the year award.
The absence of Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris for long periods of the campaign hindered the chances of Delhi Capitals. In December 2018, the team changed its name from the Delhi Daredevils to the Delhi Capitals. Following the name change, they enjoyed a good season in 2019 and will be raring to go in the upcoming IPL campaign as they look one of the strongest teams on paper.
12. 2019 – Royal Challengers Bangalore
As always, Royal Challengers Bangalore started the season with the massive expectation and burden on their shoulders to finally win the title. They lost the first 6 matches on the bounce and their season was virtually over in a jiffy. A lot of eyes were laid on the Captain of the team Virat Kohli because he was to lead his country in the upcoming Cricket World Cup, this put a lot of pressure on the captain.
Sunrisers Hyderabad defeated RCB by 118 runs in a match. This was the second-largest defeat for Royal Challengers Bangalore in terms of runs. Out of the 14 games played, they won five, lost eight and tied one. Consequently, they ended at the bottom of the points table for the second time. They only lost 1 match in their last 6 matches which is a reason for their fans to be excited in the build-up to the next season which is just a few weeks away.
Even with RCB’s disappointing performance in the season, most of their matches were close encounters and their fans were thoroughly entertained. At the end of the 12th season of the IPL franchise, RCB still remains among the three original teams of the franchise who haven’t won the IPL trophy yet. They are also the three teams who feature the most on this list.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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