Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders comprehensively underperformed in South Africa and all returned prematurely.
Much more was expected of the three Indian Premier League (IPL) teams that failed to make the semi-finals of the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 and will now head home to dejected fans – defending champions Mumbai Indians, former winners Chennai Super Kings and current IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders. For a host of reasons, including poor batting and bowling and at times leadership, these three high-profile teams devalued the tournament and left Indian supporters with little to cheer for.
Here’s a look at how Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata fared in the tournament.
Mumbai Indians – P 4, W 0, L 3, N/R 1
Mumbai, who gained direct entry to the CLT20 as title holders, boasted a strong batting line-up and bowling attack and had Sachin Tendulkar back in the team. Undoubtedly one of the toughest teams to beat, Mumbai failed to win a single match in South Africa.
Their campaign began with an eight-wicket loss to Lions; a wash-out against Yorkshire followed, and then came a six-run defeat to CSK. That left Mumbai hoping that other results went their way, but when Lions beat Yorkshire they were eliminated. In their dead-rubber match against Sydney Sixers, Mumbai were beaten by 12 runs.
Biggest defeat: Eight wickets to Lions on October 14 in Johannesburg.
Biggest disappointment: Sachin Tendulkar. In four innings, the 39-year-old made 47 runs at an average of 11.75 and strike-rate of 71.21 with a best of 22. Tendulkar was bowled twice.
Chennai Super Kings – P 4, W 2, L 2
CSK’s third appearance in the CLT20 – they won the second edition in 2010 – was their most disappointing. With the reputation of one of the strongest Twenty20 franchises in the business, the IPL 5 runners-up lost their first two matches to Sydney and Lions which left them virtually out of the tournament. By the time they played their third match, against Mumbai, CSK had already been ousted. Victories against the current CLT20 holders and Yorkshire did little to lift the spirits of fans back in Chennai. Having failed to win the title in IPL 5, MS Dhoni’s team took a further hit in South Africa.
Biggest defeat: Six wickets to Lions on October 16 in Cape Town.
Biggest disappointment: R Ashwin. In four matches, the offspinner managed just three wickets at an average of 47.66, economy rate of 9.53 and strike-rate of 30.
Kolkata Knight Riders – P 4, W 1, L 2, N/R 1
After winning their first IPL title this year, KKR entered the CLT20 as one of the favorites. However, their star-studded lineup failed miserably in South African conditions and the bowlers, barring Sunil Narine, failed to consistently take wickets as evident by totals of 160 for 8 (to Delhi) and 139 for 3 (to Auckland Aces) conceded in fortune-turning defeats.
KKR’s campaign started terribly with a 52-run loss to Delhi, and when Auckland wrapped up a seven-wicket win three days later Gautam Gambhir’s team was starting at an early exit. A washout confirmed that, and a whopping 99-run win over Titans was of little consolation.
Tellingly, there was not a single half-century and before KKR hit a tournament-high 188 in their inconsequential final match the batting wore a decidedly flabbergasted look. With the ball, barring Narine (six wickets at 10.33) there was no stand-out consistent bowler; L Balaji’s tally of seven owed largely to 4 for 19 in the dead rubber. It was just not the kind of cricket expected from an IPL-winning team.
Biggest defeat: By 52 runs to Delhi Daredevils on October 13 in Johannesburg.
Biggest disappointment: Gautam Gambhir. In three innings, KKR’s captain made 49 runs – of those, 44 came in the dead rubber. His failures in the two defeats hurt KKR.