We are reaching the business end of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League and like every year, we have had brilliant entertainment, drama, and excitement. With the group stage ending on Sunday, its that time we review every franchise's year and in this slideshow, we single out one player from each team who should be released into the auctions next year.
IPL is one of the biggest spectacles in world cricket and some of the world's greatest players feature in this extravaganza and for that, they are paid handsomely but some players, unfortunately, can't live to the franchise's expectation.
Many players over the years have faced the ruthlessness shown by every team in team selection and have been dropped after just one season. Take Yuvraj Singh for example, he has featured in almost every franchise but still, he hasn't been a mainstay in any team.
One of the things that makes IPL so competitive is the fact that team management don't care about a player's reputation, if you are not performing well, unfortunately, you will be dropped. So, without further ado, here is the one player from every team who should be released into the auctions.
#8 Royal Challengers Banglore - Mohammed Siraj
All right then, let's talk about the team who seems to have the most problems when it comes to team combinations and performance. Like every other year, this year also RCB's downfall has been due to the lack of bowling options they have at their disposal.
Barring Dale Steyn who played only a couple of matches, Yuzvendra Chahal and sometimes Navdeep Saini, their whole bowling department looks all over the place. One bowler who has had maybe his worst ever IPL is Mohammed Siraj. In his 9 matches, he has picked up only 7 wickets and his economy rate is almost touching 10.
Since Siraj joined RCB, he hasn't been consistent enough and playing at the kind of track that Chinnaswamy offers, it is going to get any better for him, so Virat Kohli should be contemplating his release next year.
#7 Rajasthan Royals - Jaydev Unadkat
Another Indian fast bowler who went for big bucks in the auction was Jaydev Unadkat and he has been nothing less than underwhelming. RR picked him after his impressive showing with the Rising Pune Super Giant but in the Pink City, Unadkat has been poor.
This year, he played 11 matches, took 10 wickets but his economy rate was almost touching 11, which is just not good enough. Unadkat has become predictable over the years as he seems to have only two deliveries up his sleeve, the stock ball and the slower ball.
Its time RR look to someone else for their fast bowling department and release Unadkat.
#6 Kings XI Punjab - Karun Nair
One of the most baffling calls made by KXIP team management has been the non-selection of Karun Nair. The Karnataka batsman is a regular at every domestic tournament in India and he is regarded as one of the very best batting talents to come out of this country, yet KXIP seem to stick with a David Miller who just doesn't perform consistently enough.
In the only match Nair played, he scored 5 runs and he was immediately dropped after that. If KXIP doesn't fancy Nair, they should start thinking about his release next year as many teams would love to have his services in the middle order.
#5 Kolkata Knight Rides - Robin Uthappa
KKR have had an odd year so far as they started their IPL with a bang but then they lost 6 consecutive matches and it derailed their confidence. KKR's batting order has looked good but one batsman who hasn't been at the peak of his powers is Robin Uthappa.
Uthappa has been brilliant for KKR over the years but this year, he just hasn't looked in his elements. In the 11 matches that he has played, he has scored 242 runs at an average of round about 29. Uthappa seems to be past his prime as he wasn't great for KKR last year either.
Maybe, its time for the KKR management to look past Uthappa and give young players a shot at that number 3 spot or even try to promote their captain, Dinesh Karthik, instead.
#4 Sunrisers Hyderabad - Yusuf Pathan
SRH also have had an odd season as at the start of this year's IPL, they looked great but that was because their top order was firing and as soon as their middle order got exposed, they just started losing matches. One of biggest culprits in their downfall this year has been Yusuf Pathan.
Yusuf is an IPL great but he has had an awful time this year as he has not only scored less and less runs but he has also dropped some pretty important catches. In the 10 matches that he has played this year, he has just scored 40 runs at an average of 13.
Yusuf has to be released and replaced by the Hyderabad franchise and its possible that he may go unsold in next year's auction, if released by SRH.
#3 Mumbai Indians - Yuvraj Singh
At the auction, many MI fans were surprised as the management went for Yuvraj Singh and that too at a high price. MI have had a great time this year as they have already made it into the playoffs but the same cannot be said about Yuvraj, as he has had an off season.
The southpaw started this year with a half century but his inconsistency saw him being dropped just after a few games. His fielding also has just not been good enough this year. In his four matches, he scored just 98 runs at an average of almost 25. He seems to be past his prime and while he does show flashes of his old self every now and then, but he shouldn't be retained by MI at such a high price.
#2 Delhi Capitals - Rahul Tewatia
After changing their name from Delhi Daredevils to Delhi Capitals, the team lead by Shreyas Iyer have had a great year so far as they have made it to the playoffs. DC don't really have many problems but they do have too many leg spinners in their ranks and Rahul Tewatia is the one who has had the worst returns of them all.
Tewatia was being preferred to Amit Mishra early on in the tournament due to the former's batting skills but soon he was dropped for his inconsistent shows. Tewatia, in his 5 matches, took just 2 wickets and scored a mere 26 runs.
With the likes of Mishra and Sandeep Lamichane at their disposal, it may be time for DC to release Tewatia.
#1 Chennai Super Kings - Shardul Thakur
Another year, another playoffs qualification for CSK and it looks like, MS Dhoni and his men are on track for winning their 4th IPL title this year. The defending champions don't really have many problems but their death bowling has brought some concerns this year and one bowler who has had a torrid time this year is Shardul Thakur.
Thakur hasn't really bowled well at any point in the game, be it the powerplay or the death overs. In the 8 matches that he has played, he has picked up 6 wickets at an economy rate of 9.2. Thakur has shown no signs of improvement and he does not seem to be in CSK's long term plans.
He doesn't really come across as a specialist T20 bowler and it's time CSK looked past him next year.