Last year’s runners up, Kings XI Punjab, were the most disappointing franchise of this season. They finished last in the points table, with three wins and 11 losses in 14 matches, thus earning only six points. Of the three wins they registered, one came against Mumbai Indians at Mohali, by 18 runs, in their second match. This was followed by a couple of losses after which they managed to break Rajasthan Royals’ unbeaten streak with a win in the Super Over. However, Punjab went on to lose seven matches in a row, after which they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 22 runs in their penultimate match.
While the overall performance was disappointing in itself, what was even more disheartening was the fact that they surrendered rather meekly in many of the matches. Chennai Super Kings trampled them both times the teams met, first by 97 runs, and then by 7 wickets. Delhi Daredevils thrashed them by 9 wickets in one of the matches, and Royal Challengers Bangalore absolutely mauled them at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Batting first, Chris Gayle’s ton RCB well past 200, and Punjab managed merely 88 in reply.
Since Punjab performed so badly, there weren’t really too many top performers for the team. Among the lot, David Miller was the best, but even he wasn’t as successful as in the earlier season. In 13 matches, he compiled 357 runs at an average of 32.45 with two half-centuries. He hit 21 fours and as many sixes during the tournament. Miller finished with a decent strike rate of 134.2 with a best of 89 not out. His knocks mostly went in vain, and Punjab actually needed more from him.
There were a number of them actually. Glenn Maxwell was the biggest disappointment of them all. In 11 matches, he managed only 145 runs at an average of merely 13. Maxwell finished with a strike rate of 129, without a single fifty. His highest in the event was only 43. Virender Sehwag was also poor consistently failing to deliver, and he was dropped very early in the tournament by Punjab. George Bailey began well, but his form worsened as the season progressed. He made 259 runs in 13 games at a strike rate of 136. He scored two fifties at an average of 23.5.
Murali Vijay had a great chance of making an impression at the top of the order. But, he was a big failure. He made merely 251 runs in 11 matches at a strike rate of 110, without a single half-century. Vijay averaged merely 22.8. With the ball, Mitchell Johnson could not deliver what was needed of him. He played 9 matches, and claimed only 9 wickets at an average of 37.3 at a disappointing economy rate of 9.3. He had a strike rate of 23.8 with a best of only 2 for 23.
--By A Cricket Analyst