The exhilarating season of Indian Premier League 2019 ended with Mumbai Indians winning the title for the record fourth time against Chennai Super Kings in a nail-biting thriller contest. The IPL may have ended but a bigger tournament awaits its arrival in June 2019 - ICC Cricket World Cup.
Players who featured in IPL and are in the World Cup squad of their respective teams would be eager to perform better in the tournament. Though T20 performances are not a good criterion to judge a player's skills, it is a good morale booster for them that gives them the confidence of performing even better on a big stage.
There are players that have had a good IPL season, whereas some others will try to improve their performances in the biggest tournament of cricket. For the Indian team itself, there were few mixed performances from the players selected for the World Cup. Few of them had an off-season, whereas the others performed well.
Let us look at the Indian players who didn't perform well in IPL and are in the World Cup squad.
#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been struggling with his bowling since past few months. He is not the same wicket-taking bowler anymore. His form has seen a decline because of some injury concerns in recent times.
In the 15 matches played in IPL this year, Bhuvi has managed to pick just 13 wickets at an average of 35. These numbers are quite surprising for a bowler who has been the purple cap holder twice in two successive seasons of IPL (2016 & 2017). Bhuvi was the main factor for SRH's success in IPL in the past couple of seasons.
Since 2018 the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar has dipped drastically. Being the Indian bowling spearhead, the team would be hoping to see some good fiery and wicket-taking bowling spells from him.
The English conditions also suit him and with the help of his bowling partner Jasprit Bumrah at the other end, Bhuvi could find back his lost form and help India lift that trophy once again.
#2 Vijay Shankar
The selection that surprised many was of the Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Brought in as a replacement for the injured Hardik Pandya in the series against New Zealand, Shankar showed a lot of potential and good temperament in few ODI games that he played.
But, since the start of IPL 2019, he seems to lost his touch. He got a couple of starts in a few games but couldn't capitalize. After the record-breaking opening duo of Warner and Bairstow left the tournament everyone expected him to perform well given that he was selected in the World Cup squad as well.
However, he failed to live up to the expectations and scored just above 200 runs from the 15 matches he played. His form could be a problem for the Indian team as he is supposed to fill in the highly debated No. 4 position.
#1 Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav was the go-to man for KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik whenever he searched for wickets. He gave his captain a cushion of at least 2 wickets every game. However, that really didn't happen this year.
Kuldeep Yadav managed just 4 wickets from the 9 matches he played at an average of 71.50. His poor performance forced the KKR skipper and team management to axe him out of the playing XI. This also led to a more dismal performance from the KKR team as their match-winning bowler didn't have anything to offer.
With World Cup in a few days, Kohli surely would want his strike bowler to get his bowling on point and get some crucial wickets in the middle overs.