IPL 2014: It's time Sunrisers Hyderabad's batsmen complement their bowling
The Sunrisers Hyderabad pattern is evident to everyone who is following this IPL. The top three rarely score big, the middle order flounders, the bowlers try their best to make a game out of nothing. When one of those three scores big, AB de Villiers comes in and snatches the game out of SRH’s grasp.
7 games – 3 wins and 4 losses. The clustered points table got even clumsier with SRH’s win against Rajasthan Royals last night.
The problem for SRH starts with Shikhar Dhawan’s reluctance to let go of the opening position. He hasn’t set things on fire and his record of 155 runs from 7 outings is modest. His inability to convert the starts exposes the vulnerability of a fragile middle order. Dhawan’s position at the top separates Aaron Finch (191 runs) and David Warner (230 runs). Although Warner has shown glimpses of form playing in the middle order, he is far more valuable playing at the top.
Elevating him provides the currently in form batsman with maximum number of overs to play with. Dhawan’s easy manoeuvring of spinners will come in handy in the middle. It’s highly imperative that one of these three stays at the wicket for the twenty overs. The various players they have in the middle order (positions 4, 5, 6) have yielded only 285 runs from 7 games. With solid technique KL Rahul, a Ranji Trophy champion from Karnataka, is the best name in the squad to take up number 3 position. Any lower, he is wasted.
Dhawan should play the role of a floater. The lesser known and struggling players could play freely knowing there is Dhawan. SRH is the ideal team to revive the art of pinch hitting. Naman Ojha is a wonderful hitter of spinners and could come in handy as the person to move the scoring.
Darren Sammy’s struggle to provide the final surge saw him dropped and Moises Henriques was handed his first match of the season. With a strike rate in the 120s, one shouldn’t expect the Australian to blast sixes and fours at will. Darren Sammy is still a better option.
The bowling looks settled with Irfan Pathan taking the spot of Ishant Sharma. The fifth bowler is what this brilliant bowling line-up lacks. A bold move like bringing in Manpreet Juneja for Henriques and Jason Holder for Irfan Pathan could work dramatically well. The international hitter lower down hasn’t done enough with bat or ball to merit a place in the eleven. With Jason Holder, the bowling line-up will make even the totals in the 140s look like a winning one.
Amit Mishra gets rattled whenever a batsman takes him on early in his over. He is a wicket taking bowler and SRH need him to deliver most of the times. The slower he bowls, the better he performs. As they showed against RR, SRH have the bowling to match any side. It’s their batting that needs to improve. When they get the batting order correct, they could be the team to beat.