MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: IPLT20)
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A lot had changed in the world between the time when Mumbai Indians (MI) won the title in 2019, and the IPL 2020 began. In cricket – and all sporting activities – were postponed for a few months. Hence, the IPL too. But, now we are into the business end of the tournament — and looking forward to the playoffs.

Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore are looking strong to qualify for the playoffs, while Chennai, last year’s finalists, is the first team to be knocked out, practically. Teams like Kolkata and Hyderabad are struggling to win convincingly. Therefore, some players were terrific last year but had been disappointing this season.

Here we look at 5 players who excelled in IPL 2019 but flopped this year:

Andre Russell

MI, KKR
Andre Russell bounced out [Photo-Twitter]
The lack of form of Andre Russell with the bat this year is a major factor for KKR to struggle in finishing games and run-chases. Russell scored 510 runs at a mammoth strike rate of 204 with four half-centuries.

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In contrast, this season the big Jamaican managed only 92 runs in 9 matches at a strike rate of 131. He has contributed with the ball, but it’s his batting faculties which KKR would need the most. Russell’s issues with the short ball continued, and currently, he is sitting on the bench after getting injured.

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant in action in IPL 2020. (Photo: BCCI)

Delhi Capitals are doing well and are set to qualify for the playoffs. However, the form of their superstar batsman, Rishabh Pant is concerning. Pant has scored 217 runs in 8 matches, at a strike rate of 117- which is well below his career IPL strike rate of 155.

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In 2019, the left-hander was in supreme form scoring 488 runs at a strike rate of 162. Pant is yet to register a half-century this season. He has refrained from playing his shots and held back his attacking instincts. Delhi would want the southpaw to return to his destructive self as the playoffs approach.

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: Twitter)

Before the IPL 2020 began MS Dhoni last played a professional level cricket game in July 2019 against New Zealand in the World Cup Semi-final. That lack of match-practice has been evident in IPL 2020 where he has scored 180 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 122- which not justify his finisher tag at all.

Last year, prior to the World Cup, Dhoni was magnificent in the IPL. The CSK skipper scored 416 runs in 12 innings with three half-centuries and was instrumental in CSK reaching the final.

Dinesh Karthik

IPL, Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Credits: IPL/BCCI)

Dinesh Karthik decided to step down from captaincy duties mid-season and handed it over to Eoin Morgan stating that he wants to focus more on his batting. That itself is evidence of Karthik’s confidence this year. KKR hasn’t done badly this year, but Karthik with the bat should have done better.

He has scored 148 runs in 11 innings at an average of just 14 and a strike rate of 122. He has also been getting out to spin bowling constantly. In contrast, last year, he had an average of 31 and strike rate of 146, and on the back of those numbers, he made a place in India’s World Cup squad as a finisher.

Khaleel Ahmed

Khaleel Ahmed | Virat Kohli |
Khaleel Ahmed. Credit: BCCI

Khaleel Ahmed was a vital cog in the Sunrisers team last year as they made it to the playoffs. He took 19 wickets in just nine matches at an economy of 8.23 and strike rate of just 11.

However, his form has fallen off the cliff. Until last year he was also in India’s limited-overs squad. The left-hander has been disappointing this season. He has picked just eight wickets in seven matches and has been very expensive, leaking runs at an economy of 9.42.

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