IPL 2014: Worst XI of the Tournament, Featuring Gayle, Kallis, More
Picking the players for an Indian Premier League is like buying a used car. In amongst the high quality motors are a few dodgy bangers which prove to be a total waste of money.
And with the dust still settling on a thrilling IPL 7 season, several owners might be having sleepless nights about some of the purchases they hemorrhaged their hard earned money on at the auction!
Thus, this list of the tournament's worst XI performers might compound their misery.
Please note: Only players who participated in at least half of their teams group games were considered for selection. Also, this is a workable cricket team with batmen, bowlers and wicketkeeper etc.
1. Chris Gayle
Salary: $1.6 million
Strike rate: 106.52
What happened? I suppose it was inevitable that Chris Gayle would have a slump at some point and unfortunately for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it happened at IPL 7.
Despite averaging over 43 runs per T20 innings before this year's tournament, the normally brutal Jamaican struggled for form and failed to pass fifty once.
Even more surprising was a run rate of just over a run a ball, which won't win you many games of cricket in this format. Still, a nice payday for Gayle, who earned $8,163 per run.
2. Murali Vijay
Strike rate: 107.81
Murali Vijay had managed to shed his reputation of being a more traditional style of batsman through explosive innings such as his 127 off just 56 balls in 2010.
However, this season the 30-year-old regressed to his old self and struggled to keep up with the bigger and brasher strokeplay of his contemporaries.
3. Quinton de Kock
Strike rate: 117.69
Regularly touted as the next Adam Gilchrist, Quinton de Kock has made a solid start to his international career, batting aggressively in ODI and T20 cricket for South Africa.
But this IPL season, after scoring a couple of 40+ scores in his first three innings, the batsman-wicketkeeper struggled for runs and finished the season carrying the drinks for his teammates.
4. Jacques Kallis
Strike rate: 117.05
Economy rate: 8.45
After retiring from Test cricket a few months previously, Jacques Kallis assumed he could continue milking the T20 cow for a little while longer, but this season's experience could hasten his one-way ticket to the sunlounger.
Normally a steady contributor with both bat and ball, the Kolkata star had a disappointing campaign and when he was phased out of the side, the Knight Riders' form began to pick up. Freddie Flintoff take note!
5. Mayank Agarwal
Strike rate: 126.37
While not being one of the tournament's bigger names, Mayank Agarwal still commanded a significant salary and boasts decent career statistics in T20 cricket.
However this year, like so many of his Delhi colleagues, the 23-year-old struggled to influence games despite decent spells in the side at the start and end of the season.
6. Albie Morkel
Strike rate: 109.75
Economy rate: 7.87
It was a difficult campaign for Albie Morkel who, despite playing nine matches, struggled to make an impact with either bat or ball.
Coming in to bat in the lower middle order, the big-hitting South African struggled to add any late impetus to the Royal Challengers' innings, while a haul of just four wickets tells its own story.
7. Darren Sammy
Strike rate: 118.68
Economy rate: 11.21
Darren Sammy has always been something of a strange cricketer. Starting out as a bowling all-rounder, he's gradually morphed into a T20 finisher with the bat and his bowling skills have become redundant.
But it all went wrong for the former West Indies skipper during this season, with his paltry returns making the decision to shell out a huge sum of money seem ridiculous.
8. Irfan Pathan
Strike rate: 101.85
Economy rate: 8.66
A veteran of 29 Tests, Irfan Pathan had a painful campaign for Sunrisers Hyderabad with perhaps a miserly spell of bowling against Mumbai being his only meaningful contribution.
More would have been expected from a man with over 1,500 runs and 140 wickets in his T20 career but the most telling statistic was his economy rate, which was a run higher than usual.
9. Amit Mishra
Economy rate: 9.06
It is hard to say what happened to Amit Mishra in IPL 7. The normally reliable spinner was paid a huge salary, partly due to his career economy rate of 6.96, but he was smashed around the park throughout the competition.
In fact, the 31-year-old's seven wickets cost the Sunrisers' owner the small matter of $110,000 per scalp! Although at least he provided this timeless run-out clip to watch again and again and again.
10. Dhawal Kulkarni
Economy rate: 8.18
He may not have cost big bucks but Dhawal Kulkarni, normally a reliable seamer who was once called up to the India Test squad, served up plenty of cannon fodder during IPL 7.
If it wasn't for James Faulkner's wild figures, Kulkarni would have topped most of Rajasthan's least desirable bowling categories and it would be a surprise if he was back next season.
11. Pragyan Ojha
Economy rate: 8.26
Few would have predicted Mumbai's Pragyan Ojha would struggle in IPL 7, but a return of just four wickets from 12 matches doesn't pull any punches.
Some might say a low economy rate is more important in T20 cricket but the 27-year-old, who has played 24 Tests for India, struggled to keep control too.
*Please note all statistics supplied by ESPNcricinfo unless specified.
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