By Simon Farnsworth
Having an out of form match winner in your side is incredibly frustrating in the IPL.
However, no matter how out of touch they are it is vital to keep them in the team- simply because they are match winners and this is a results business.
They haven’t lost the ability to smash a match winning 50 or take key wickets, they have simply misplaced it.
And with this season’s IPL coming to its finale the match winner senses glory. The big games bring out the best in this elite breed.
Yusuf Pathan proved this yesterday.
With his side in trouble the big man, who has been out of form all season, produced a brilliant 40* of just 21 balls.
It was the innings that powered KKR to the final; it was the innings of the proverbial match winner.
Today’s Eliminator sees many sleeping giants in the line ups.
For CSK, look no further then Ravindra Jadeja.
His performances over the years in the IPL have been outstanding. He fully justified his price tag at the start of this season, but the Super Kings will be disappointed in the $2m man performances which have wielded just 190 runs and 11 wickets.
But just like Pathan, today’s Eliminator against Mumbai Indians could reignite the misfiring Jadeja.
As well as Jadeja, the leader of CSK and Captainfantastic MS Dhoni hasn’t been at his big hitting best in IPL5. His 16 matches so far have seen him score 270 runs, well below what a player of his stature should be scoring.
But if there is one thing we know about Dhoni its that the big games bring out the big performances- look no further then the World Cup final where he blitzed 91*.
As for the Mumbai Indians, they should stick with the faltering Gibbs at the top of the order.
The South African has showed glimpses of his talent but they have just been in the group stages.
It is these later stages that he, like Pathan, will relish.
Like any ageing pro, they always have one or two big knocks left in them.
With only three games left in this seasons IPL match winners, no matter their form, come alive to the sound of success.