Harbhajan Singh”¦ Stuck in a time warp. The doosra is gone, so is the flight and guile that got him wickets © AFP
Harbhajan Singh”¦ Stuck in a time warp. The doosra is gone, so is the flight and guile that got him wickets © AFP

 

By Dhananjay Devasper

 

The exhausting IPL4 is over and done with. The IPL, coming on the heels of the World Cup, was tedious, boring and increasingly losing its sheen. Exorbitant ticket prices saw stadiums going half empty at times. To add to the woes, some of the players who were given big bucks did not justify their top billing.

 

Here’s a stab at the most stars who failed to live up to the price they commanded at the auction:

 

1. Kieron Pollard The only bright spark, this season from “The Beast” was his outstanding fielding. His bowling and batting have been pedestrian at best and his struggle against quality spin was the talk of the IPL. At an average of 14 runs per match, he fared far worse than most tailenders.

 

2. Daniel Christian For someone who came in to the IPL with such a high price tag, a lot was expected of him. Christian, sadly failed to justify his top billing, and the Chargers failed to charge ahead.

 

3. Irfan Pathan Badly in need of a resurrection, the IPL could well be his swansong. The zing in his bowling and batting were sadly missing.

 

4. Yusuf Pathan He was unable to replicate his success in the first IPL edition. He continues to be inconsistent and his form has deserted him. He must now be hoping his owners don’t desert him as well.

 

5. Rohit Sharma In the team after the Little Master pursued him, he was expected to set the IPL on fire for Mumbai. However the age old issue of temperament and application continue to dog him. Barring a couple of matches where he forged a partnership with Andrew Symonds, there has been nothing to write home about. Even with over 300 runs in the IPL this season, there was much more expected out of him in crunch situations to come good. Sadly that has not materialized, just like his cricketing career.

 

6. Harbhajan Singh Should we call him a spinner anymore? If there’s anyone who seems to be stuck in a time warp, it’s Harbhajan. The doosra is gone, so is the flight and guile that got him wickets. The part time spinners were more effective than him and it’s just the aura that keeps him in the team.

 

7. Yuvraj Singh Called into captain the Pune Warriors, and riding on some great performances in the World Cup, a lot was expected of the Man of the 2011 World Cup. He started off well, but fell completely by the wayside once his team started losing in terms of performance, body language and finally fitness.

 

8. Andrew Symonds – Expected to bolster the Mumbai Indians middle-order, he showed some promise in a couple of matches. However, his strike rate and his rustiness were apparent in the knocks that he played.

 

9. Shantakumaran Sreesanth Seen as the spearhead for the Kochi franchise and “son of the soil”, his performances were nothing to write home about. His poor run from the World Cup continued and he sat out most of the matches and was relegated to answering questions from the Podcast anchors.

 

10. Muttiah Muralitharan While this might be considered sacrilegious, he was supposed to spearhead the Kochi franchise with Sreesanth. Neither clicked and the Tuskers faded away during the latter half of the tournament.

 

(Dhananjay Devasper is an “IT guy” by profession and a sports fanatic at heart. He has an unbridled passion for sports and Indian achievements in sport. Extremely opinionated, he attempts offering perspectives around sports which are simple to understand and easy to relate with)