IPL 2021 : Big money can bring added pressure on performance

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IPL 2021 auctions had seen some staggering buys in terms of large money.  Chris Morris ( 16.25 cr) , Kyle Jamieson (15 cr) , Glen Maxwell (14.25 cr) , Jhye Richardson (14 cr) , Riley Meredith (8 cr) , K Gowtham (9.25cr) , Moeen Ali (7 cr) were some massive buys considering this being a smaller auction.  However since supply was lesser than demand these players fetched big money which would not have been the case in mega auctions , the next of which is going to happen in 2022 .  

Now the big question is what impact these large monies will have on  performance of the related players. ?

Gautam Gambhir was asked on this few years back and he famously admitted that his price tag of 11 crores in 2011 ( highest that year) did affect him in a big way mentally and he felt big pressure whenever he took the field during matches .  For the record Gambhir performed well in 2011 edition and went on to win two IPLs for KKR as captain in 2012 & 2014 adding to his good run with the bat in most years with KKR.  Therefore when he inspite of being an achiever in IPL , openly admits about the pressures of price tag this really sets up a strong debate on the subject.

If we take out some recent examples of past few seasons we can find many  instances of players failing to live upto their lofty price tags: 

Few as under : 

Glenn Maxwell | Price: Rs 10.75 crore | Team: Kings XI Punjab | Year: 2020 

108 runs at 15.42 avg  101 strike rate

3 wkts  56 average  8.04 strike rate

Jaydev Unadkat | Price: Rs 11.5 crore | Team: Rajasthan Royals | Year: 2018 

11 wkts  in 14 games economy 9.65

with 8 crores fetched in following year he  took 10 wkts in 11 matches at 10.66 strike rate

Dinesh Karthik | Price: Rs 12.5 crore | Team: Delhi Daredevils | Year: 2014 

325 runs  23 avg 126 strike rate  9 dismissals.  Decent performance overall but a strike rate much lower by his standards & not quiet living upto the price tag of 12 plus crs

Pat Cummins | Price: Rs 15.5 crore | Team: Kolkata Knight Riders | Year: 2020 

12 wkts ,34 avg,  economy rate   7.86.  very average by his high standards . Failed to provide early breakthroughs in most games 

Yuvraj Singh  | Price: Rs 16 crore | Team: Delhi Daredevils | Year: 2015 

batting 248  avg 19   strike rate  118

bowling  1 wkt   avg 72   strike rate 8

While there had also being instances of players excelling with high price tags like KL Rahul for Punjab and Ben Stokes for Rajasthan & Pune in recent times  ,  the instances are much lesser .

Hence big alerts for players like Morris ( had injury issues )  and Maxwell ( constantly performed below his best in IPLs) as well as Jamieson , Jhye Richardson and Meredith all of whom has no experience of subcontinent conditions.  K Gowtham the uncapped Indian player needs to guard against this bigtime  as he will take the field for highly successful CSK .

**by Amitava Mukherjee

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