IPL 2016 marred by injuries, Rising Pune Superigats and Mumbai Indians worst hit
Indian Premier League 2016 will have a ten-member ninth team if one were to assemble a squad out of players who have been ruled out of the ongoing season due to injuries. (Full IPL Coverage)Teams losing players to injuries has been the trend this season. A lot of reshuffling has hampered the consistency of franchises and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Rising Pune Supergiants are the worst-hit. After losing four of their key international stars, Pune Supergiants are languishing at sixth position managing only two wins from eight matches. Notably, Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen and Mitchell Marsh were the four foreign players Pune had fielded in their first game against Mumbai Indians. Not just the ones who were ruled out during the course of the season but there are a few big names who have been not been part of the season so far. Thanks to the busy cricket calendar which has contributed to player fatigue. The Australians had one of the most busiest T20 seasons in the last sixth months. It began with the Big Bash League followed by T20 series against India and South Africa and the T20 World Cup. Notably, the Aussies had played only one T20 match in 2015 which is nine less than what they have played so far in this year.Here’s is the list of big names who are missing from action this season. Notably, five of them are Australians.Lasith MalingaThe most successful Indian Premier League bowler Lasith Malinga was ruled out of the season after a lot of confusion about his injury update. Malinga, who missed the World T20 action for Sri Lanka, flew to India and joined the Mumbai Indians squad only to be deemed unfit in the following days.advertisementMalinga, who led Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup T20, just played one match in the tournament. The pacer, who suffered a bone bruise in November last year, decided to step down as Sri Lanka’s skipper ahead of the ICC World T20 2016. However, a recurrence of the injury ruled him out of the showdown event.He is also likely to miss Sri Lanka’s tour to Australia in August this year.Mitchell StarcStarc, who has been out of action since November last year, was ruled out of the ICC World T20 and IPL. Starc’s only appearance at a cricket stadium in the last six months has been during the game between India women and Australia. The Australian pacer was there at the MCG cheering for his wife Alyssa in January. Starc suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and underwent an ankle surgery.Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen was making headlines after he hinted a possible move to South Africa. Pietersen maintained his reputation in the Big Bash League after becoming the first player to score more than 290 runs in two consecutive seasons. Pietersen hit a match-winning 62 in the semi-final for Melbourne stars and followed it up with a 39-ball 74 in the final. He was bagged by Dhoni’s RPS in the IPL and all was looking good for the England star until he injured his calf muscle in the home game against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this month. He was replaced by in-form Australian opener Usman Khawaja.Steve SmithSteve Smith was the latest Pune Supergiants’ star to be ruled out of the season nine. Smith was starting to click and provided the much-needed balance to the battered Pune unit. Smith had scored 280 runs from eight matches which included a century. Smith, according to Australia’s sports science and sports medicine manager Alex Kountouris, was struggling with the injury for more than a week and eventually pulled out after failing to recover.Faf du PlessisDays after Pietersen’s exit, Pune Supergiants suffered another blow as their ever-dependable batsman Faf du Plessis fractured his finger during the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Again, it was a busy season for South Africa’s T20 skipper which started from the three-match T20 series in India last year. Du Plessis was replaced by Australian batsman George Bailey.Mitchell MarshThe third Pune Supergiants’ player to head back home this season was Mitchell Marsh. The Australian all-rounder was sidelined with a side strain. He had featured for Dhoni’s team only in three games taking four wickets at an impressive economy rate of 5.0.Shaun MarshKings XI Punjab batsman Shaun Marsh was ruled out with a back injury earlier today. The Australia batsman picked up the injury during the game against Kolkata Knight Riders on April 19 and has been struggling to recover since then. Marsh scored 159 runs from the six matches he played this season. Notably, he missed Punjab’s first game of this season due to food poisoning.advertisementLendl SimmonsThe West Indies opener, who smashed a match-winning, unbeaten 82 against India in the semi-final of World T20, was not able to replicate his success in the cash-rich league as he was ruled out with a back injury. Simmons’ only game in the season came against Pune Supergiants. Simmons was replaced by Martin Guptill.John HastingsThe 30-year-old Australia pacer featured only in two games for Kolkata Knight Riders before flying back home. Hastings picked up an ankle injury during the warm-up session ahead of his game against Mumbai Indians last month.Yuvraj SinghYuvraj Singh, who was bagged by Sunrisers Hyderabad this season, hasn’t featured in a single game yet. The Indian all-rounder missed the semi-finals of the World T20 after he suffered an ankle injury during the league game against Australia. Yuvraj carried on with the injury and stitched a match-winning stand of 45 with Virat Kohli. Yuvraj, who has missed the first two weeks of the IPL season, said he was targeting the May 6 game against Gujarat Lions to make a comeback.