A week’s action is left before curtains will be drawn on this year’s cash-rich extravaganza. The tournament so far has witnessed both high-quality and shambolic performances from the eight teams. While this season was absolutely horrible for RCB and GL, MI and KKR have been the most impressive teams, sailing to the playoffs without much difficulty. Almost all franchisees had banked on their foreign players to deliver the goods and the majority did not disappoint. Yet it has been the Indian players who have ultimately proved to be crucial for their respective teams.
However, surprisingly many overseas players were sparingly used this season. The reason for the same is quite unknown, but it has for sure left most of the cricket fan baffled.
Here we take a look at five foreign players who were seen warming the benches more often than playing on the field.
Instrumental in SRH’s title triumph last year, Fizz played 16 out of total 17 matches for the Orange Army. His lethal Yorkers and deceptive variations were too tricky to handle even for batting big guns. As expected, Rahman was retained by Hyderabad for IPL 10, but has played only a solitary match so far. Arriving late due to national commitments, he lost his place to teenager leggie Rashid Khan, who was producing superlative performances with the ball. The Mumbai match turned out to be his first and last in the season, where he conceded over twelve runs an over. However, for a player of Mustafizur’s calibre surely deserved more than one chance for SRH in IPL 10.
In a team already filled with established openers like Finch, McCullum and Dwayne Smith, it was known that Roy would find it difficult to make the playing XI. The English batsmen got a chance in three of Gujarat’s first four matches, where he scored 59 runs in total. It was not that bad a performance since in his third game he was sent down the order and an unbeaten 7-ball 14 was all Roy could manage. Nevertheless, that was the last game IPL 10 witnessed Roy’s stroke-play as thereafter Smith’s all-round skills were preferred over the specialist batsman in the team.
Shakib Al Hasan
Okay, we agree the nature of Eden Garden’s 22-yard changed from a spin-friendly to a pace and bouncy track. But does that really imply the No.1 T20 all-rounder in the world gets only one match to play in a whole IPL season? A pivotal figure in the KKR unit in the past seasons, Shakib even found it difficult to make the XI in away games. His loss has been Colin de Grandhomme’s gain as the Kiwi all-rounder has already played 11 matches in the tournament. We have seen the last of Shakib in IPL 10 as he has already left for national duties for a series against Ireland.
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Mumbai Indians have a strong overseas pool of fast bowlers which has always been their added advantage this season. While the likes of Malinga and McClenaghan were the first choices, the duo of Southee and Johnson have been used as back-ups. Even while his Kiwi teammate McClenaghan was going for too many runs, Southee was rarely used as he played only three matches so far, scalping three wickets. He was given a chance against KKR in MI’s last league match but is unlikely to feature in the play-offs.
Faf du Plessis
During his CSK days, the least number of games Faf played in an IPL season was 13. Coming to Pune last year, that number dropped to 6 and this season it has been only 2. With Steven Smith being made the captain and RPS make a huge buy in form of Ben Stokes, du Plessis’ path to make it to the playing XI was always filled with obstacles. The South African got only two matches to play and scored 8 runs. For a player who scored over 300 runs in three consecutive seasons for CSK, two chances are too less to prove his credentials as a batsman. Maybe next season we can see more of him, but for this year it is over for the South African skipper.