Dropped catches, umpiring, and big buys failing: The big letdowns of IPL 2019https://indianexpress.com/article/sports/ipl/umpires-butterfingers-and-big-buys-failing-the-big-letdowns-of-ipl-2019/

Dropped catches, umpiring, and big buys failing: The big letdowns of IPL 2019

One of the raging debates of IPL 2019 has been the deteriorating standard of umpiring. The quality of fielding has been equally below par for several teams and individual fielders.

Throughout the 12th edition of the IPL, there have been quite a few umpiring errors but none more glaring than the no-ball off Lasith Malinga’s last ball. (Screengrab)

At the end of the 12th season of the Indian Premier League, indianexpress.com looks at some of the biggest letdowns of season 12 of the Indian Premier League.

Butterfingers: The quality of fielding has been below par for several teams and individual fielders. In the final, Rahul Chahar dropped two catches off Shane Watson, one off his own bowling and one in Jasprit Bumrah’s 19th over. Luckily for Chahar, they didn’t result in his team losing the match.

Shockingly, Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli features in this dubious list. Kohli dropped four out of the six catches that came his way (leading to a poor conversion rate of only 33 percent).

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Virat Kohli dropped four out of the six catches that came his way. (BCCI/IPL)

Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) Joffra Archer grassed three catches in one match (all of them in the same match against Mumbai Indians). His lifelines to Hardik Pandya and Quinton de Kock cost his team dearly as RR lost the match agains MI.

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Sunrisers Hyderabad’ Yusuf Pathan, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Lockie Ferguson, and RR’s Krishnappa Gowtham have all spilled two catches each.

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Jofra Archer of Rajasthan Royals tries to take the catch of Quinton de Kock of Mumbai Indians during match 27 of the Vivo Indian Premier League Season 12. (BCCI/IPL)

Among the teams, Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings boast of the safest fielders. Their conversion rate were an impressive 88 per cent and 87.7 per cent respectively (as on 30th April). Interestingly, two grounds, Jaipur and Hyderabad, have also been the hardest to catch. Both venues have witnessed a catch-conversion rate of less than 75 percent. There could be two reasons behind this- wet balls (due to the dew) or the presence of low floodlights.

Remarkably, the IPL final also witnessed quite a few dropped catches.  Suresh Raina, who is considered as one of the safest fielders, spilled the catch of Hardik Pandya when MI were batting first. Later on, in the second innings, Lasith Malinga and Rahul Chahar dropped Shane Watson twice. Watson then went on to score a brilliant 80 off 59 balls.

Interestingly, the venue of the IPL final- Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad has a catch conversion of less than 75 percent. One possible reason as to why so many catches are grassed at this arena could be due to the lower levels of floodlights leading to visibility problems.

Umpiring blunders

One of the raging debates of this edition has been the deteriorating standard of umpiring. Throughout the 12th edition of the IPL, there have been quite a few umpiring errors, but none more glaring than the no-ball off Lasith Malinga’s last ball. The incident occurred during RCB’s clash against MI at home. Seven runs were needed off the last ball but Malinga conceded just one. to win the contest for his side.

But after the match was over cameras revealed Malinga had overstepped, which was not spotted by the umpire, and this infuriated Virat Kohli, who lashed out at the umpire in the post-match press conference.

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Throughout the 12th edition of the IPL, there have been more than a dozen of umpiring errors. (BCCI/IPL)

Later on, Sunrisers Hyderabad became the first team to qualify with 12 points for the playoffs. Without the error, RCB had a chance to win the match and possibly qualify for the playoffs. The error also drew sharp criticism across the cricketing fraternity

From MS Dhoni storming onto the ground to the latest spat between British umpire Nigel Llong and Virat Kohli, the efficiency of umpires has been widely questioned. While captains like Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been vocal against umpiring decisions, it is also high time that the BCCI wakes up and takes a close look at the issue.

Kieron Pollard also walked away during a delivery in the last over of the Mumbai Indians inning in the IPL final, enraged over two deliveries not being called wide. He was later fined 25 per cent of his match fee.

Big buys fail to deliver

In the IPL auctions of 2018, 14 players were bought for more than Rs 3 crore or more. But most of them failed to light up the tournament. Jaydev Unadkat was the most expensive buy after being purchased for Rs 8.40 crore. But he failed to live up to the price tag. After playing 11 matches, the left-armer picked up just 10 wickets at an average of 39.80.

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Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith speaks to Jaydev Unadkat during IPL match between Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Jaipur. (AP Photo)

All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite was bought for Rs 5 crores by KKR and he too played just 2 matches scoring 11 runs. With the ball, he delivered 3 overs at an economy rate of 9.66.

Tamil Nadu leg-spinner Varun Chakaravarthy was picked up by Kings XI Punjab for an astonishing Rs 8.4 crore. However, he too played just one match where he bowled three overs and conceded 35 runs and picked up one wicket. Chakaravarthy was ruled out of the tournament thereafter due to injuries.

England all-rounder Sam Curran is another name on the list. He was bought for Rs 7.2 crores. But apart from his all-round performance in the game against Delhi Capitals, his season wasn’t anything to remember.

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Sam Curran played 9 matches scoring 95 runs and picked up 10 wickets at an economy rate of 9.78 and an average of 32.20. (BCCI/IPL)

The 21-year-old played 9 matches scoring 95 runs and picked up 10 wickets at an economy rate of 9.78 and an average of 32.20.

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Colin Ingram, who made an IPL comeback after an eight-year hiatus, also struggled to perform and failed to close out chases twice in two matches.