The 10th edition of VIVO IPL has been full of action and unpredictability where young troops have been on fire while some experienced campaigners have been nothing more than disappointment. The intriguing action has caused this season to be one of the most predictable one as far as teams are concerned. 3 out of 8 teams have already qualified and 3 of remaining 5 have been eliminated (practically) although we still have a handful of games to be played. One of the reasons why the bottom three teams struggled has to be failures of their experienced players which may cause them (players) to go unsold in the open auction which will take place next year and we might not be able to watch their performance again. Take a look at 5 of those players for whom this could be the last season.
Note: The players mentioned below have been analyzed by their performance. We wish all of them well to excel.
1. Chris Gayle:-
Chris Gayle or the universe Boss” has arguably been the best T20 batsman ever. His records in T20 look ‘Bradmanish’. Recently he became the first batsman to score 10,000 T20 runs which is impeccable but the big man is struggling big time. The 38 years old southpaw has been one main pillar of RCB batting since 2011 after he went unsold in auction and RCB signed him as a replacement of injured Dirk Nannes but he hasn’t lived upto the expectations since last year only. Gayle scored mere 227 runs from 10 games he played in 2016 with a paltry average of 22.7. The strike rate however was of 151 and hence he wasn’t a big worry for RCB but this year he has led RCB down with a strike rate of 122 so far which is nowhere near a player of this dominance. Gayle has yielded just 152 runs from 6 matches he has played so far with an average of 25.33. He has been in and out of the team leading to an unsettlement in RCB top order. Not only form, Gayle has been down and out because of his fitness too. At 38, when you are hardly playing for West Indies, you tend to get rusty. The lack of quality international bowling which he has faced in recent time has been another reason of his dismal performance. Presumably, it will be the last season of Chris Gayle.
2. Shane Watson:-
Shane Watson was part of Rajasthan Royals since the inaugural IPL season, in 2008. That IPL season also helped him make an improbable comeback to international cricket. After being sidelined due to injuries, Watson decided to join the Royals and emerged the Player of the Tournament in the first edition of the tournament. When the Royals got suspended in 2015, it was Royal challengers Bangalore which signed ‘Watto’ for a whopping 9.5 crore in 2016 auction. He was expected to deliver big with both bat and ball but in 2016, his performance with bat was just about par however, he had an excellent season with the ball and was the leading fast bowler of the side in the absence of Starc. But in 2017 edition, his performance has been too disappointing as he has failed heavily with both bat and ball.
This season his bat could only produce 64 runs from 6 matches with an average of 12.80 and at a strike rate of 94 which is too bad for a player like him. In 2016 though, he had managed 179 runs from 16 matches at an average of 13 and strike rate of 134 which was descent as he was providing major breakthroughs with ball but he has struggled massively even with ball as he has just managed 3 wickets from 6 games with an economy of 9.87 which is extremely poor compared to the last year where he picked up 20 wickets with an economy of 8.50 only.
Even the team management hasn’t shown much faith in him and hence, we expect him to have played his last season of IPL.
3. Zaheer Khan:-
The stalwart of DD bowling has always been struggling with his fitness. The 39 years old Delhi captain is currently out of the squad owing an injury. His career has been very prone to injuries and you don’t expect a man aging 40 with full of injuries to play competitive cricket although he has managed it quite well.
Zaheer, popularly known as ‘Zak’ has always been a smart bowler whose skills can’t be doubted. Even at this age, his contribution as a captain and as a bowler is immense for DD. Zaheer is having a decent run even in this IPL. He has counted 7 dismissals from the 7 matches he has played with an economy of 8.5. The preceding year, he had got 10 wickets from 12 matches with an economy of 8 which is very satisfactory but assuming that he will be 40 next year, it will be difficult for him to continue.
4. Irfan Pathan:-
Believed as one of the finest all rounders of Indian cricket, Irfan Pathan is well past his prime now and looks like his pale shadow. The allrounder has been a part of many IPL teams, and is currently playing for Gujarat Lions after they signed him as a replacement of injured Dwayne Bravo. Irfan went unsold in last couple of auctions and was roped in as replacements later but he failed to prove his point.
Last year, it was newly recruited RPS who tried to give him a chance when team was struggling to find a performer. Pathan couldn’t manage a single wicket from the four games he played. He scored only 11 runs from those games causing the captain to lack trust. This year though, he has got to play just one game in which he couldn’t impress anyone. He managed 2 runs from bat and conceded 26 from 2. He has been struggling with fitness too. In fact, injury played the biggest role in ruining his career and hence, going with these facts, we don’t expect any further participation from Pathan.
5. MS Dhoni:-
The legendary wicket keeper batsman is playing to prove his point that he is still good enough and has played few outstanding knocks occasionally which includes one against SRH. However, his overall performance this season with bat has been just par as he has just sneaked 199 runs from 10 innings at a strike rate of 113 which can’t be considered good for this format. So with this kind of form, it’s tough to continue for him. Haha, we are just joking, Dhoni has shown what he is capable of time and time again and from no sort of imagination, IPL 2017 will be his last season although the man is known to give heart attacks to his fans with some shocking decisions but one thing for sure,he is playing his last season for Rising Pune Supergiant.
If anyone is playing his last season, it has to be Ishant Sharma who has failed to live upto expectations by any means. Ishant has always been an underperformer throughout his career and he has struggled big way in this format because of his lack of skills to contain batsmen. Ishant has played just 15 matches in last 4 seasons from which he has got only 7 scalps to his name with an absolutely poor economy of about 10. Him being unable to bowl Yorkers makes him a soft target for batsmen. Ishant went unsold in this auction which was a surprise for many although he was signed in by KXIP as a replacement of Murali Vijay but he has been wicketless thus far this season. His performance doesn’t seem to be drawing any attention in next year IPL with lots of good Indian fast bowlers coming into the scene. However, he is quite young (by age) to garner all the skills to survive in this format.