The month-and-a-half long T20 extravaganza more than lived up to its expectations as it produced some of the most enthralling cricket seen in tournament’s history.
Some exciting new talents entertained us in this year’s IPL. On the other hand, there will be some stars who will be worried about their future in the next edition.
Here, we look at five such players who might not feature in the IPL come 2019.
GAUTAM GAMBHIR – DELHI DAREDEVILS
The 36-year-old’s homecoming to Delhi was not what he had hoped for. After starting his Daredevils captaincy stint with a half-century against Kings XI Punjab, Gambhir’s form deserted him as he managed to score only 30 runs in the subsequent four innings. His poor form, combined with Delhi losing five of its opening six matches, led to Gambhir voluntarily stepping down from captaincy.
He did not feature in the playing XI thereafter with young Prithvi Shaw taking up his position. It is highly unlikely Gambhir will feature again as a player with age catching up with him though a role as mentor could be on the cards.
MITCHELL JOHNSON – KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
The former Australia pace stalwart failed to create any sort of impact in 2018 for Kolkata. He started off with two decent outings before falling off a cliff in the latter stages. After picking up only two wickets in six matches while going at an economy of over 10 runs an over, Johnson was dropped from the playing XI altogether towards the business end of the tournament.
At 36 years of age, Johnson’s best days are behind him and Kolkata could be forced to look elsewhere to fix their overseas pace bowling woes.
BRENDON MCCULLUM – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
The New Zealand dasher has been a constant in the IPL ever since his unforgettable 158-run for Kolkata Knight Riders in the very match of the 2008 IPL. But, that illustrious run seems to be coming to an inevitable end after a season in which the veteran batsman failed to live up to the very high standards set by him.
McCullum only managed to score 127 runs in six innings for the Bangalore franchise this year and was dropped from the playing XI towards the end of the season. With age not on his side and RCB struggling this season, it is hard to picture the Kiwi being retained for the 2019 season.
D’ARCY SHORT – RAJASTHAN ROYALS
The Australian opener came into the tournament on the back of a highly impressive BBL campaign where he broke the tournament’s record for the most runs in a single season. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, he was unable to translate that success on the slower pitches in the subcontinent.
Short‘s weakness against spin bowling was exposed despite being multiple opportunities by the Royals. He only managed to score 115 runs in seven innings with his confidence completely shot towards the end. It will be a surprise to see him donning the blues of Rajasthan after a horror IPL 2018.
IMRAN TAHIR – CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
On the face of it, Imran Tahir’s numbers in the IPL aren’t too bad. The veteran leg-spinner picked up six wickets in as many matches at an economy-rate of over nine an over. However, his presence in the playing XI gradually declined as the tournament progressed and he did not feature at all in the second-half.
The 39-year-old is still playing international cricket but his future at Chennai looks shaky at best with the side already filled with stars on the wrong side of 30. Given that he was surplus to requirements in the end, Tahir could be the first name to make way for a fresh face in 2019.
YUVRAJ SINGH – KINGS XI PUNJAB
The 36-year-old initially went unsold in the IPL auction before he was picked up by his ‘home’ franchise Kings XI Punjab. However, it has been a sorry season for the 2011 World Cup winning all-rounder who has struggled to even time the ball.
Despite being an icon in Punjab, the veteran’s horror show saw him replaced by Manoj Tiwary in the playing XI mid-way through the campaign. He still continued to receive chances down the line but failed to deliver every time. The left-hander scored 65 runs in eight innings at an average of 10.83 and an equally poor strike-rate of 89.04.
After just about managing to get an IPL contract in 2018, it would be a miracle to see Yuvraj feature in 2019 after his abysmal show confirmed that his cricketing career is on his last.
Know more about Sport360 Application