IPL's million dollar men: Many hits, a few misses
Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at how the most expensive players have performed in the fourth edition of the IPL.
The Indian Premier League is all about lucrative deals.
While some investments by the franchisees are justified, with the players proving their worth, in other cases the expenditure is, bluntly put, a waste.
The fourth edition of the tournament is no exception. The franchisees lined up to pick their teams in the auction preceding the tournament and while some ended up making sound investments, others did not put their money on the right players.
With 51 matches over, and just 23 left, rediff.com takes a look at how the most expensive players have performed in this edition.
Gautam Gambhir (2.4 million)*
It seemed a bit too much initially, investing US $2.4 million on Gautam Gambhir.
But Shah Rukh Khan knew what he was doing when he frisked the 29-year-old away from Delhi Daredevils.
Gambhir was appointed the new captain of Kolkata Knight Riders, replacing the popular Sourav Ganguly, and he dramatically turned around the fortunes of a side that is the only one of the original eight franchisees never to make it through to the last four.
KKR occupy second spot in the table at present and are looking good to go all the way this season.
Gambhir definitely deserves some credit for the success.
As a batsman, he is KKR's second highest run scorer with 305 runs from 11 matches.
* (All figures in US dollars)
Image: Gautam Gambhir
Uthappa is a good buy
Robin Uthappa (2.1 million)
Again, investing US $2.1 million on a player who is not even a part of the national team was a risk.
But the gamble of whisking Robin Uthappa away from Royal Challengers Bangalore seems to have worked for Pune Warriors India.
The 25-year-old has so far accumulated 247 runs in his 10 innings and is one of the most consistent players in an otherwise inconsistent Pune side.
Image: Robin Uthappa
A failure with the bat, success with the ball
Yusuf Pathan (2.1 million)
He was the top draw and a huge, albeit unexpected, success with Rajasthan Rotals in the opening three seasons.
It was therefore no surprise when Kolkata Knight Riders splurged US $2.1 million to secure the services of Yusuf Pathan.
Without being critical, it is safe to say that the 28-year-old hasn't exactly delivered with the bat in the manner he was expected to, save that unbeaten 47 against Deccan Chargers.
An aggregate of just 156 runs from 11 matches (@ 26.00) isn't what a team expects after spending millions on a player.
However, to his credit, Yusuf has made up for his disappointments with the bat with a good showing with the ball.
The part-timer has so far taken 11 wickets and made it to the top 10 list for bowlers.
And he has the ability to make the cut in the batting list soon.
Image: Yusuf Pathan
Rohit shining in Mumbai colours
Rohit Sharma (2.0 million)
A super success with Deccan Chargers in the first three seasons, Rohit Sharma was acquired by Mumbai Indians for US $2 million this season.
And the 24-year-old hasn't disappointed his home fans.
An aggregate of 282 runs in 10 innings (@ 56.40) is impressive, especially if one considers the fact that the Mumbai Indians batting line-up includes Sachin Tendulkar, Ambati Rayudu and Andrew Symonds amongst others.
Rohit is a vital cog in Mumbai's scheme of things now.
Image: Rohit Sharma
Irfan, an unjustified investment
Irfan Pathan (1.9 million)
One may wonder what made the owners of Delhi Daredevils spend US $1.9 million on Irfan Pathan.
The 26-year-old has been out of the national team for quite some time and wasn't very impressive with Kings XI Punjab (his former team) either.
To say that Irfan has failed to justify his million-dollar tag would be akin to stating the obvious.
Irfan has scored just 103 runs in his 10 innings so far (@18.00). So much so that when Delhi skipper Virender Sehwag was asked about his batting, he said, 'He is there as a bowler.'
To be fair, Irfan has delivered with the ball, so far having seven scalps to his credit.
Still, the investment remains unjustified.
Image: Irfan Pathan
Yuvraj doing a good job
Yuvraj Singh (1.8 million)
The man significantly responsible for Team India's World Cup triumph, Yuvraj Singh walked away with the Player of the Tournament honour in cricket's flagship event.
But before that he had done enough to make the owners of debutant outfit Pune Warriors invest US $1.8 million to acquire him and name him captain of the new team.
And Yuvraj has delivered, even if his team hasn't.
An aggregate of 294 runs in 10 innings (@ 42.00), with two half centuries certainly re-establishes his credentials as a dangerous batsman in this form of the game.
Besides, he has taken six wickets while bowling as a part-timer.
Image: Yuvraj Singh
Tiwary hasn't had the opportunities
Saurabh Tiwary (1.6 million)
Royal Challengers Bangalore splurged US $1.6 million to acquire the services of this 21-year-old.
But the former Mumbai Indians' player has so far managed just 108 runs in seven innings (@ 18.00).
However, before you label him as a failure, let's say he is not. Suffice to say, he has not had the opportunities.
He has mostly come in at a time when his team needed a few big hits and that explains his cheap dismissals.
Tiwary is not to be blamed. He is part of a team that has batsmen of the calibre of Chris Gayle, Tillekeratne Dilshan, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
How can you expect to get a chance when such names are ahead of you in the batting line-up?
Image: Saurabh Tiwary
Has managed to keep Kochi in contention
Mahela Jayawardene (1.5 million)
The newly-formed Kochi Tuskers Kerala spent US $1.5 million to acquire Mahela Jayawardene.
The 33-year-old former Kings XI Punjab player was palpably named captain and has done well in his new role.
Jayawardene aggregates 217 runs in his 11 innings thus far, with a couple of fifties.
And his astute captaincy means Kochi is still in with a chance to make it to the last four.
Image: Mahela Jayawardene
David Hussey has been a big disappointment
David Hussey (1.4 million)
David Hussey is one of the biggest disappointment thus far.
Acquired by Kings XI Punjab for a whopping US $1.4 million, the former Kolkata Knight Riders player has struggled along with his new team.
The 33-year-old's statistics aren't worth a mention.
And going by the manner in which the Punjab team is performing, Hussey junior won't get enough opportunities to better those dismal figures.
Image: David Hussey
A good buy by the Chargers
Dale Steyn (1.2 million)
It was a great deal, to say the least.
Deccan Chargers made the right investment when they acquired Dale Steyn for US $1.2 million.
And the 27-year-old former Royal Challengers Bangalore player has done enough to justify his new owners' confidence in him.
The South African palpably leads the Deccan Chargers attack, and has so far ensnared 12 scalps besides bowling an accurate line.
Steyn has consistently figured in the top 10 charts for the bowlers right from the start of the tournament.
Image: Dale Steyn