Ranking Top 20 Players from IPL Teams That Missed 2014 Play-Offs
While half of the Indian Premier League's stars are battling it out in the latter stages of the competition, the rest are working hard in the nets preparing for next season...or more accurately, lounging on a beach somewhere.
But despite representing underachieving sides that missed out on a place in the play-offs, many players, of course, still did well individually.
Here are the top 20 performers from teams that didn't make the cut, ranked in order of their 2014 IPL contributions.
20. Kedar Jadhav
One of the few bright spots of the Daredevils' season was the return from middle-order journeyman Kedar Jadhav, who scored 149 runs at a team-leading strike rate of 147.52.
If it wasn't for a poor run of scores toward the end of the campaign, where he registered five single-figure scores in six innings, then Delhi may have even improved on their paltry haul of two wins.
19. Shane Watson
By his own high standards, it has been a disappointing season for Rajasthan skipper Shane Watson, whose 240 runs came at a strike rate of 122.44, some way below his career average of 141.58.
However, the Australian's all-round skills mean he won't have to worry too much about being recruited for future Twenty20 competitions, but will it be as captain after the Royals missed out on the playoffs?
18. Steven Smith
It was a strange tournament for Steven Smith, who made an impact with some cameo performances but was strangely underused by the Rajasthan Royals.
After arriving on the back of a successful winter, the all-rounder only batted seven times in 10 matches and didn't bowl at all. However, a crucial scampered two in a Super Over won a game against Kolkata while this catch was a reminder of his ability in the field.
17. James Faulkner
As well as being involved in the surreal Amit Mishra run-out incident, James Faulkner further enhanced his T20 reputation...with the bat anyway.
The Aussie bludgeoned 181 runs from the lower middle-order at a strike rate of 192.55. However, an economy rate of 9.74 and an average of 38.09 per wicket with the ball was disappointing for Faulkner's second discipline.
16. Kevin Pietersen
It was a miserable campaign for England reject Kevin Pietersen. After missing the opening few games due to injury, he returned to skipper his side to the wooden spoon with just two wins from 14 matches.
On a personal level ,there were flashes of the old brilliance, and he closed the tournament with consecutive scores of 49, 44 and 58. It will be very interesting to see how he gets on in the T20 Blast and Caribbean Premier League.
15. Virat Kohli
If it wasn't for his last few innings where he scored 27, 67, 38, 73 it would have been a disastrous season for Virat Kohli, but to be fair, the Indian star's output could only go down after a spectacular few months in international cricket.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain still managed to score 359 runs at an average of 27.61 and, given his visible upturn in form, will hope to put IPL 7 behind him on his country's tour of England.
14. Dale Steyn
He still possessed that intense glare, but Dale Steyn seemed strangely becalmed this season, even getting smashed around by his compatriot, AB de Villiers, in a clash with RCB.
However, even a slightly underperforming Steyn is more potent than most other bowlers, as evidenced by his haul of 11 wickets and an economy rate south of 8.00.
13. Dinesh Karthik
For some reason, wicketkeepers often seem to make good white-ball batsmen and Delhi's Dinesh Karthik is exactly that in the upper echelons of the Delhi order.
The 23-Test veteran scored 325 runs, second only to JP Duminy in the Daredevils' ranks, including a memorable 69 off 44 balls in a tight encounter against Punjab.
12. Shikhar Dhawan
Relatively speaking, Shikhar Dhawan bats with a fairly traditional style compared to the hustle and bustle of his T20 comrades, and perhaps a strike rate of 118.18 isn't fast enough these days.
However, the classy left-hander still produced a significant volume of runs—377 in fact—and would probably score quicker in a more successful side.
11. Sanju Samson
One of the up-and-coming youngsters to emerge from this year's IPL is Sanju Samson, who impressed as a wicketkeeper-batsman during Rajasthan's stuttering campaign.
The 19-year-old, often batting at the top of the order, tied with Ajinkya Rahane for the Royals' top runscorer with 339 runs from 13 innings. One to keep an eye on.
10. Pravin Tambe
At the tender age of 41, Pravin Tambe used all his experience to become the joint-eighth-highest wicket taker in the tournament.
With 15 scalps in 13 matches, including a sensational hat-trick, snared by the wily veteran's leg breaks, who is to say the Rajasthan Royals man won't be back for another year?
9. Naman Ojha
Something of a surprise package, Naman Ojha has often boosted Hyderabad's underperforming batting line up with some rapid innings. None more so than his 79 not out from just 36 balls against Punjab.
The wicketkeeper batsman made 232 runs from 10 innings, but it is his strike rate of 144.09 that might see him playing a bigger role next year.
8. Karn Sharma
Karn Sharma made the headlines in the 2014 IPL auction fetching Rs 3.75 crore, the highest price for a domestic uncapped player.
However, the leg-break bowler proved value for money, bowling with precision and control to snare 15 victims at a relatively healthy economy rate of 7.42. It's a good job too if his backup career idea was to be a singer (see video above).
7. YS Chahal
Going wicketless in his last four matches took the shine off Yuzvendra Chahal's early-season form, but the leg-spinner was Bangalore's second-tightest bowler and also picked up 12 victims in 14 matches.
The 23-year-old can take the confidence from going for just 7.01 runs per over in the slogfest of the IPL and should come back even stronger next year.
6. Karun Nair
Karun Nair has been the bright light in the Rajasthan Royal's disappointing campaign with 330 runs at a strike rate of 142.24
The 22-year-old produced a number of blistering knocks none more so than this 27-ball half-century against Mumbai.
5. JP Duminy
4. Yuvraj Singh
Saddled by being the most expensive player in the auction and under pressure from his poor form on international duty, Yuvraj Singh had a lot on his plate before the tournament began.
However, as they say, class is permanent, and the all-rounder was one of the few batsmen to hit more sixes than fours in among his 376 runs. How much will he cost next season?
3. AB de Villiers
Some of Bangalore's biggest names failed to deliver this season, but the exceptional AB de Villiers, who remains one of the best finishers in T20 cricket, can be absolved from blame.
The South African's 395 runs came at a strike rate of 158.63—only Glenn Maxwell and Yusuf Pathan scored faster over a decent amount of innings—and included a streak of three fifties in four games.
2. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
It isn't easy being a bowler, particularly of the pace variety, in the IPL, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar has produced some staggering statistics this season.
Despite playing for mid-table Hyderabad, the improving 24-year-old claimed 20 scalps in 14 matches while delivering his 53.1 overs for just 6.65 runs a time.