IPL 2019: SRH have been a team of two halves so far this season
Sunrisers Hyderabad recently played against the Mumbai Indians, and it was a dramatic game where the Sunrisers bowled first and restricted the MI team to just 136 runs. It should have been an easy win for SRH, but things didn't go as planned.
The 22-year-old Alzarri Joseph picked up six wickets for his team, on his debut. He ended with figures of six for 12, which included a maiden. These are the best figures in IPL history, overtaking the previous record of 6 for 14 by Sohail Tanvir.
SRH have been a successful team for a while now mainly because of their bowling lineup. They won their first ever IPL trophy in 2016 on the strength of their bowling, with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman regularly picking up wickets. They then became an even more lethal bowling team when the young Afghanistan player Rashid Khan came into their squad in 2017.
SRH have always given more importance to their bowling rather than their batting. This is where teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore have missed a trick; RCB have focused mainly on their heavy-duty batting lineup, which is not at all helping them right now.
This year SRH have a greatly balanced and exceptional bowling line-up which includes Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul and their new strike bowler Mohammad Nabi. Nabi has taken seven wickets in just three matches and to add to that, his economy rate is below four. Those numbers are just breathtaking, especially considering he is also used a lot in the power-play overs.
They also have a great pair of openers in David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. The two of them have together scored 541 runs in the five matches they have played, which also includes a century for each, and are leading the race for the Orange Cap. Warner and Bairstow also have a strike rate of more than 150 this season.
Though SRH seem to be ruling the roost in these two aspects, they do have a big weakness in their middle order. The total runs scored by their four middle order batsmen in IPL 2019 is just 202 runs in five matches, with the majority of that being accounted for by Vijay Shankar who has made 105 runs.
Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan have not contributed at all for the team. They have just left a big hole in the middle, allowing the opponents to dominate the proceedings quite easily.
Even though SRH are now in the top half of the IPL points table, their lack of a reliable middle order could come back to haunt them. The worry for the management is that they do not have any impressive Indian players in their squad.
The SRH bench consists of the young Abhishek Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami and Ricky Bhui. They could take a chance and bring in one or more of these talents, or else they can bring back the experienced campaigner and last year's Orange Cap winner Kane Williamson.
One way or another they, this is a problem they have to address soon.