There’s a reason why IPL is said to be a platform of ‘make’ it or ‘break’ it for cricketers. Out of all the domestic T20 tournaments in the world, this is that one stage that gives you instant recognition, fame and riches all at the same time. The biggest of players all over the world compete against each other to prove their mettle. The battle isn’t just on the field ladies and gentlemen. There’s a separate battle fought between franchises at the auction table to bag the best players that fit their respective team’s combination. On many instances in the past, we have seen multiple franchises fighting it out against each other to bag one particular player who is expected to be a ‘match winner’ on a given day. This is the stage where the auction table is the busiest as the one who can offer the most amount of bucks gets to have a player. While more often than not, the players who fetch big bucks at the auction table come with a reputation, ironically, we have seen the same reputation fizz out big time when they just couldn’t do justice to their price tag. Well, IPL 2022 as well was no different.
Just like other seasons, this year as well, we saw many players standing tall like rock-solid pillars at the auction table when it came to their price tag. However, when it came to justifying the cost on the field where it mattered the most, they just couldn’t make it count no matter how much effort they put into it. Here’s taking a look at 7 such players who failed to do justice to the amount they were offered this year.
Ishan Kishan (Mumbai Indians): The swashbuckling left-handed batsman has been a powerhouse and a dynamite on the cricket field for Mumbai Indians and Team India in the recent past. It was this reason why he managed to fetch 15.25 crores at auction this year. However, he couldn’t really perform as well as he would have liked to as he managed to amass just 370 runs (updated till 13 games) so far. Well, 370 runs for that big a price, certainly not enough.
Shivam Mavi (Kolkata Knight Riders): He is one young player who burst into the scene courtesy of his potential and skills at the Under-19 level in Indian cricket. However, soon after that, he couldn’t do as well as he would have liked to KKR in IPL cricket. Although he has been a match-winner with the ball on a few occasions, you expect a lot better from him. In IPL 2022, he has only bagged 5 wickets from the 6 games he played and his inconsistency certainly doesn’t justify the price tag. Why will you pay 7.25 crores to a single player for a season in which you won’t even play all 14 games? Bonkers stuff.
Prasidh Krishna (Rajasthan Royals): He is one player who needs to seriously maximise his potential to good effect and make it count consistently on the field. In certain games, he appears to be faster than lightning whereas, in certain games, his rhythm looks cooler than even ice. In 13 games, he’s picked 15 wickets. However, with a price tag of 10 crores, you expect a better economy rate and more wickets in the wickets column.
Shahrukh Khan (Punjab Kings): When the man first burst into the scene in cricket, he was rated highly as a finisher. Even in domestic T20 leagues, he has done wonders for his team to see them home on many occasions. However, in 2022, he seems to not have done justice to the price tag. In the 7 games that he has played as on 19th May 2022, he has scored only 98 runs and that’s certainly not good for a price of 9 crores. Needs to seriously pull up his socks ahead of next season.
Lockie Ferguson (Gujarat Titans): The Kiwi speedster has been on a rollercoaster ride in the past and with his express pace, he has the potential to trouble any batsman, especially in green wickets. However good pace doesn’t always mean wickets. That’s why, in the 11 games that he has played, he has only got 12 wickets with an economy of 8.93 that’s certainly on the higher side. You expect slightly better from someone whom you are paying 10 crores.
Krunal Pandya (Lucknow SuperGiants): Last but certainly not the least, we have Krunal Pandya who’s been paid a whopping 8.25 crores this season for the Lucknow SuperGiants. However, in terms of translating that into consistent performance, we are yet to see that ladies and gentlemen. In the 13 games that he has played so far, he has only got 183 runs along with 9 wickets. From an all-rounder of his stature, you certainly expect a lot more, don’t you?
Well, after these six instances this year, we can certainly say that out of 10 of the most expensive players this season in 2022, 6 haven’t performed to the best of their potential. This, once again proves an old saying right that no matter what you have done in the past, all that matters is how much you scored in your last game or how many wickets you took to help your team win. In short, keeping reputation aside, you are as good as your last game. But hey, will franchises realize this fact and make better money-spending decisions at the auction table or will they continue to chase the ones who are mostly about ‘all show and limited results’? Only time can tell.