NEW DELHI: Splurging big bucks to buy players in the Indian Premier League auction does not guarantee success and this has been a somewhat constant trend over the years in the cash-rich league. The 13th edition of the IPL is no different. Most of the players with big price tags haven’t really lived up to the expectations. TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the performances of the top five buys of the last IPL player auction so far this season:Pat Cummins (KKR) – Rs 15.5 Crore
The UAE was being seen as a venue where the spinners would be the game changers ahead of IPL 2020. However, it’s the pace bowlers who have dished out stunning performances so far this IPL. However, the world number one Test bowler since August 2019, Pat Cummins has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season so far. Cummins, who became the most expensive overseas buy of all time at an IPL auction, when the Kolkata Knight Riders paid Rs 15.5 crore to buy him in the December 2019 auction, has managed to take just three wickets so far in 10 matches, at an economy rate of 8.22. Cummins took his first two wickets in the first three KKR matches and then he went wicketless for the next five matches. He then took his third wicket in his 9th outing of the season. But the Australian’s performance with the bat has been somewhat useful lower down the order for KKR. He notched up a half-century against Mumbai Indians, though KKR lost that match. But Cummins was predominantly bought to spearhead the KKR fast bowling attack. And on that front he hasn’t managed to live up to his huge Rs 15.5 Crore price tag.
Glenn Maxwell (KXIP) – Rs 10.75 Crore
Another Australian, Glenn Maxwell, has so far also been under par with his performances with both bat and ball for the Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020. The Punjab outfit shelled out a whopping Rs 10.75 crore in the last auction to buy the Aussie all-rounder. Maxwell, who is known for his batting exploits and is synonymous with taking the bowlers to the cleaners has so far scored a mere 90 runs in 10 matches at an average of 15, with a strike rate of just over 100. His highest score of 32 so far this season was scored in KXIP’s last match against Delhi Capitals, which was a crucial knock. What is more baffling is that Maxwell hasn’t hit a single six in the season so far. He also failed to make an impact with his off-spin bowling, so far managing to take just two wickets.
The KXIP team management though have fully backed Maxwell, knowing he is a special talent.
“Glenn has been batting well in the nets. He is a great team man and we know the balance he brings to the table,” KXIP captain KL Rahul had said after their win against Delhi Capitals in their previous game.
“We know what Maxwell can do when he comes good, he gives solidarity to the team and he balances out the team really well. To have Maxi come in the form is a very good sign and every batsman loves to hit the ball and spend some time in the middle
Chris Morris (RCB) – Rs 10 Crore
Chris Morris has been one of the major forces behind Royal Challengers Bangalore’s success ever since the South-African all-rounder made it into the playing XI of the team. Morris’ price tag of Rs 10 crore stands vindicated as he has bowled exceptionally well to take nine wickets in five matches at an economy of just 5, despite bowling in the death overs as well. Morris also shone with the bat in the one chance he has gotten far, blasting his way to an unbeaten 25 off 8 balls, studded with three sixes and one four against Kings XI Punjab.
Sheldon Cottrell (KXIP) – Rs 8.5 Crore
Kings XI Punjab had spent Rs 8.5 crore to buy the services of the West Indian fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell. The left-arm pacer Cottrell teed off the season on a good note taking four wickets in the first two matches before his performance graph saw a dip. Cottrell made the headlines, but for all the wrong reasons, when Rajasthan Royals batsman Rahul Tewatia went hammer and tongs at him by smacking five sixes in an over. Cottrell was then left out of the team after playing six games in which he took six wickets with an economy rate of 8.8 runs per over.
Nathan Coulter-Nile (MI) – Rs 8 Crore
Defending champions Mumbai Indians splurged Rs 8 crore to purchase Nathan Coulter-Nile. However the defending champions have played him in two matches so far. He missed the first seven Mumbai matches due to niggles. But the Australian failed to impress as such with his bowling, taking one wicket in two matches at an economy rate 10.50. Coulter-Nile has recorded figures of 1/51 and 0/33 in his first two outings. In the second match he also scored an unbeaten 24. It will be interesting to see if he is retained in the playing XI once James Pattinson is brought back.