The fifth edition of the Indian Premier League has completed a fortnight but despite some good matches, the cricket fans haven't warmed up to it as was expected before the start of the season.
Last year, IPL could not match up to the expected viewership because it succeeded the World Cup. Indian cricket fans' dream of a World Cup victory was fulfilled and nothing could have matched up to the euphoria that the win had created. Hence there was reason why IPL was not a success in 2011.
This year the situation is completely opposite. The Indian team hasn't played well in the last 7-8 months. Therefore, for disappointed Indian fans, IPL was just the right change and distraction, but even then the IPL viewership has been the lowest in five years.
Despite these dwindling numbers, the IPL 5 had some great encounters, good performances and unexpected failures. Here's a look at Top 5 Hits and Flops of the fortnight:
TOP 5 HITS
1. Ajinkya Rahane: Rajasthan Royals has an in-form opener in Ajinkya Rahane. He's been the architect of the Royals' surge. At the time this write-up was filed, Rajasthan had played five matches with Rahane having scored 260 runs at an impressive average of 65. Having missed his century once by 2 runs in the first game, Rahane made sure he gets the rewards after the all the hard work and scored a century against Bangalore off 60 balls.
2. Owais Shah: Another Rajasthan batsman makes it to our list. There has never been a doubt over Shah's talent but his consistency has always been under scanner. Luckily for Royals, he's been in good touch so far. In 5 matches he has score 204 runs at an average of 68 with the help of two half-centuries. Shah is also scored maximum sixes in the tournament (11 at the time this article was filed)
3. Faf du Plessis: He made a last-minute entry into the IPL after his T20 exploits for South Africa. His IPL debut wasn't impressive. He had a few good starts but couldn't capitalize on them. He finally exploded like a volcano when he slammed 71 against Royal Challengers Bangalore to script a win for Chennai Super Kings. Against Pune he scored 43 runs to take his tally to 171 runs in five matches.
4. Munaf Patel: He may not be a regular face in the Indian team - courtesy his inconsistency and poor fitness, but Munaf has done well for Mumbai Indians this season. So far he has picked 10 wickets in four matches which include two four-wicket hauls.
5. Kieron Pollard: Another Mumbai player who grabs the eyeballs when he's in the middle of action is this Caribbean all-rounder. His medium pace bowling is as effective as his swashbuckling batting. So far he has picked 9 wickets in five matches and scored 97 runs in five matches.
TOP 5 FLOPS
1. Sourav Ganguly, the batsman: Though the critics feel the Pune Warriors have a weaker squad as compared to other teams of the IPL, but they are currently sitting on the third spot, beating bigger teams like Mumbai and Chennai. And the win was credited to their captain Sourav Ganguly. But Ganguly the batsman has been a disappointment, considering his stature as a batsman. So far he has scored some 50 odd runs.
2. Yusuf Pathan: He was bought for a staggering $2.1 million by the Kolkata Knight Riders last year. He couldn't prove his worth in IPL 4 and so far this season it hasn't been any different. Having played 5 matches so far, Yusuf has managed to score just 23 runs, which far below his potential.
3. Jacques Kallis: Another Kolkata player has been a disappointment. He is one of the best all-rounders of the world and yet he hasn't really fired, either with bat or ball. In five matches, Kallis has managed to score just 63 runs and picked only 3 wickets.
4. Virat Kohli: Not very long ago, Virat Kohli was being compared to Sachin Tendulkar, and though there not an iota of doubt about his talent and caliber, Kohli has managed to score just 93 runs in four matches. But he is a player who hates to fail and a big knock might just be round the corner for this Bangalore challenger.
5. Brendon McCullum: Another Kolkata batsman is Brendon McCullum. Having played for Kolkata earlier before playing for Kochi last year, McCullum was bought again by the Knight Riders. So far he has played just two matches and scored just 11 runs.