Sunrisers Hyderabad, at 121 for two with a target of 164, was going comfortably with their run chase. Then followed a series of unfortunate events that may leave David Warner and his side scratching their heads. Johnny Bairstow to Royal Challengers Bangalore’s strike bowler Chahal for 61. Vijay Shankar, who is a good player of spin, failed to pick Chahal’s googly. Debutant and under 19 captain Priyam Garg was unlucky, scooping the ball onto the stumps. Abhishek Sharma collided with Rashid Khan while running an easy two. There was also the injury of Mitchell Marsh, which reduced The Sunrisers batting firepower, leaving them without an experienced player in the middle.
Against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the struggle continued. While Bairstow departed early, Warner hung around and played some nice shots before getting dismissed in the 10th over. While Manish Pandey played well for his 51, his partner Wrridhiman Saha couldn’t get going. He had come in for Vijay Shankar and struggled to score at a brisk pace while it was too late for Nabi’s likes to provide a late innings push. They ended up with just 142, which wasn’t enough in the end.
In the previous season, the bowling and top-order dominance had overshadowed Sunriser’s lack of experience in the middle order. Warner scoring 600+ runs without playing the full tournament is an example of the top order dependency. Along with him, there was Bairstow, who had scored 400+ despite leaving towards the end. Sunrisers Hyderabad had found it hard to perform after the two players’ departure. While Manish Pandey offers support to the top, the players coming in later haven’t had many chances to make an impact and fail to do so when they get the chance.
With players like Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, under19 captain Priyam Garg, and Kane Williamson, the Sunrisers are not short of talent. Along with them, options like Fabien Allen are also available. Players like Allen, Nabi, and Marsh help SRH meet their demands of wanting an all-rounder in place of Williamson. They may help provide stability in the batting lineup. As mentioned above, Marsh’s injury had a crucial role in the collapse as the lack of experience resulted in panic. It will be interesting to see how Sunrisers look at the defeat and what they can do to ensure it doesn’t repeat if the top order doesn’t finish the job again.