Having last played international Cricket in February against New Zealand, the Indian side members made a comeback to the cricket field after six months in the IPL. Coming off a six-month break is challenging in any sport. Below we will be talking about the performances of India’s international regulars.
Shikhar Dhawan had last played in 2019, against Australia, before an injury prevented him from going to New Zealand. The injury had resulted in him missing Cricket for longer than the others.
In this season’s IPL, Dhawan representing the Delhi Capitals, has not been able to get himself going. With a young and talented opener, Prithvi Shaw, as his partner, Dhawan, was expected to hold the innings together while his partner goes through the innings with freedom. His returns haven’t impressed with a total of 69 runs in three innings at an average of 23.
Like his National side’s opening partner, Rohit Sharma’s season ended early with an injury in the series against New Zealand, following which he was out of action.
His performance leading the Mumbai Indians has been pretty decent. He scored 100 runs in three games at 33.3. He also made a magnificent 80 against the Knight Riders, one of the notable performances against the experienced players this season.
Six months withouCricketet is tough. It could be more challenging for a fast bowler as they require regular game time to maintain their rhythm.
Jasprit Bumrah, who plays for Mumbai Indians, and is one of the best bowlers going around, has gotten to a rusty start this season. Against the Chennai Super Kings, he was taken apart by Rayudu and picked up a wicket when the game was almost over.
Against the Knight Riders, he performed well, picking up two wickets in his first three overs but went for 27 to ruin a good spell. Against the Royal Challengers was wicketless while going for more than ten an over. He has struggled to find that rhythm, and Mumbai fans can only hope that he finds it soon.
Kedar Jadhav, a member of the Indian side that visited New Zealand, is another player who hasn’t gotten himself going yet this season.
While he doesn’t have too many notable performances for CSK, having had his time with them cut short due to injuries, Jadhav has still not been able to create an impact. Expected to fill the hole created by Suresh Raina, Jadhav had scored 26 and 22 in the two chances he got while taking time to go on both incidents.
Playing as an allrounder across formats, Jadeja, who was in excellent form pre lockdown, has struggled to get that form back after the gap. While his fielding has been as good as ever, Jadeja’s other departments’ performance hasn’t been memorable yet, particularly while bowling, where he has disappointed so far.
He only picked up two wickets going at ten an over while completing his quota in all the games played with the ball. Jadeja didn’t get much to do with the bat and is expected to as the tournament goes on.
Manish Pandey had come into the IPL on the back of some handy performances against New Zealand in the T20 series. He has been a key performer for the Sunrisers, saving them on occasions where the top order fails.
This season was no different, with the middle order looking weaker and the openers rusty. He chipped in with a half-century against the knight riders helping Sunrisers put a fighting total on the board. Along with that, he was in a study partnership against RCB.
With many questions over his spot in the Indian side and the retirement of MS Dhoni, Rishabh Pant faces stiff competition with the likes of Sanju Samson to keep his place in the lineup. Along with the game, there have been questions about Pant’s temperament and the ability to play the situation.
While he has consistently got starts this season, Pant is yet to put up a performance that grabs attention.
Though he has been consistent, Pant seems to have played a little more sensibly and with a lower strike rate than before. Time will tell if the drop-in strike rate is because of the time Pant comes into a bat or because of rustiness after the break. Another notable stat of Pant is that he took three matches to hit his first six.
KL Rahul, a batsman who moved from opening to the middle order, took the gloves and temporarily led the side when he last played for India, has come into the IPL with some beautiful expectations.
So far, it can be argued that no Indian Batsmen has lit up the IPL as he has. He started the IPL with 21. He then followed up with a beautiful 132 and a 69 in his next two games while staying on top of the run charts this season.
Virat Kohli, leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore, had come into this IPL looking a different player. After three games, he’s only managed 18 runs while dropping some crucial catches.
Though his performances in 2020 haven’t been up to his usual standards, which itself is a class above, Virat Kohli has just not been able to get going. He’s found it challenging to rotate the strike, find gaps and take control of games like we all know he can. While he said his first net session went well post lockdown, It could be a rustiness case affecting him this season.
However, it’s still early days in the tournament, and one good innings are all it needs for the king to get going. Let’s hope it comes soon as Virat Kohli specials are a treat for any cricket lover.
Among Indian pacers, Mohammad Shami has been a class apart. Along with Sheldon Cottrell, He has been crucial in getting Punjab to strong starts so far. Shami so far has managed to take seven wickets in three games. Of the three games, he was expensive in only one where he went for 53 runs while taking three wickets. It was in that game where both teams made 220 plus.
Following a dream run before the 2019 world cup, Yadav has struggled to keep himself in the side. This season has so far been a quiet one for him. He’s gone wicketless in both the games played by the Kolkata Knight Riders. He had also not completed his quota in a game while being on the expensive side this season. While Yadav is known for his wicket-taking ability, the wickets haven’t been coming easy this season. Narine and Chakravarthy’s presence could be a reason behind the lack of wickets with more bowling options.
Like Kuldeep Yadav, Chahal has also been in and out of the Indian side after the 2019 world cup.
Unlike Yadav, however, Chahal has played crucial roles for the Royal Challengers. He picked five wickets so far going while maintaining a decent economy rate. It was only in the match against the Mumbai Indians, in which both sides made 201, that Chahal gave runs. A notable performance of his was against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He took the wickets of Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow, and Vijay Shankar, which triggered a collapse helping his side win by ten runs. He was also the first bowler to win the man of the match award this season.
Hardik Pandya played top-level Cricket for the first time in a year after recovering from back surgery.
He started this IPL with 14 against CSK while hitting two sixes. He followed those the first match with an 18 and 15. The IPL is still waiting to see if Hardik Pandya can regain his pre-surgery aggression following three silent performances.
So far, his workload is just batting, as the Mumbai Indians don’t want to risk his body by bowling him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar so far had been hard done by the pitches in the UAE. While Kumar is a master of exploiting swing, the ball hasn’t been moving for him upfront making it challenging for him to look for wickets. Despite one of his biggest weapons being taken away, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has still managed to bowl smartly.
He is yet to go above for more than 30 runs in a game, maintaining a low economy rate while being tough to hit death with his accuracy. Though he managed to pick up only two wickets, he has reduced the run flow allowing other bowlers like Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed to go on the attack