Yuvraj Singh isn’t the only failure of this IPL even though, as a megastar of this format, he is attracting the most attention. As he walked out to bat with the Kings XI on a tricky 89 for 3, Yuvraj was expected to join hands with another left-hander, Shaun Marsh, and lead Punjab to a formidable total.
He lasted three deliveries — just enough to raise his 100 from the competition from seven innings.
Neither his runs nor his average (14.46) have been remarkable. What is remarkable though is that Yuvraj alone is not at the bottom of the heap.
There are quite a few other well-known stars not quite setting the field on fire. Brad Hodge, the lone batting star for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL-II in South Africa, is yet to hit his straps. The same is true for Virat Kohli and Kumar Sangakkara. Or for that matter, Kieron Pollard and Gautam Gambhir, even though injury has played a big role in upsetting the rhythm of the Delhi skipper.
Interestingly, Mahela Jayawardene is just one run ahead of Yuvraj’s tally but such is the star appeal of the Punjab cricketer that the failure of both the Sri Lankan batting mainstays doesn’t quite find mention in discussions.
AB de Villiers hasn’t pulled his weight for the Delhi Daredevils either and Tillakaratne Dilshan, the star of the Twenty20 World Cup in England last year, has a meagre 32 runs from four games.
If the failure of these stars has taken everyone by surprise, there are quite a few unexpected success stories too. Paul Collingwood and Shaun Marsh have hit the ground, running with a half-century each in their first outings.
Sachin Tendulkar and Jacques Kallis have underlined how age and hitting sixes are no guarantee to success. Saurabh Tewary and Navin Ojha are the other names in the Top-10 batting stars. The competition is far from over and this batting overview could turn upside down in the coming weeks.
From an Indian team’s viewpoint, and in context of the forthcoming Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean later this month, one would hope that Gambhir and Dhoni quickly cast aside the fallout of their injuries. And, above all, a fervent wish for Yuvraj to return to form! One hopes he is saving all his runs for the Caribbean odyssey!