IPL 2020: How important is the David Warner-Jonny Bairstow partnership for SRH?
- The Warner and Bairstow partnership was crucial for SRH last season.
- The Aussie and the Englishman will need to provide solid starts to the innings in IPL 2020 as well.
It is a well-known fact that a good start at the top of the order can do wonders for a team in any format of cricket. If the openers are on song, the batting line-up is relieved of half of the job at hand. Not only do they allow the rest of the batters to get in and play their natural game, but it also gives the team an upper-hand in the contest.
On the other hand, a poor outing from the opening pair can wreak havoc on the team's morale and increases the burden on the rest of the batsmen. Fortunately for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), they have had to face the second scenario on few occasions, courtesy of their opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.
The two men did the bulk of the scoring for SRH last season. Warner was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 edition, scoring 692 runs in 12 matches at an average of 69.20, with eight fifties and a century to his name. Bairstow scored 445 runs in 10 matches at an average of 55.62, notching up two fifties and a century.
Their job at the top of the order was of prime importance, considering how inexperienced the SRH middle-order was (and still is, many would say). The Sunrisers were often found struggling to post a decent total or chase down a tall one, whenever the two openers got out cheaply.
Their partnership was broken inside the powerplay in just four out of the ten matches they opened in last year. The Hyderabad-based franchise's average innings total in IPL 2019 was 158. It fell to 139 when the first wicket fell inside the powerplay. The effect of either of the two batsmen getting out early is showcased by this surprising dip.
The duo provided solid starts to the SRH innings, averaging 79.5 at a strike rate of around 160 for the first wicket and scoring 50.34 percent of the team's runs. They had a partnership in excess of hundred in four of the ten matches that they played together, including a mammoth partnership of 185 against Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB) where both of them scored centuries.
Not only was the duo consistent when it came to giving good starts to the team but they were also quick about going about their job. They constantly kept the opposition bowlers under pressure by scoring a boundary every 4.5 balls. Bairstow and Warner's individual strike rates of 151 and 144 respectively in the powerplay were amongst best in the league. Apart from this, the two had a combined strike rate of 145 in the powerplay.
With formidable numbers such as these, it is safe to say that the Warner-Bairstow opening pair will once again be crucial for Sunrisers Hyderabad this season. Their performances will be of vital importance this time around as well.Published 20 Mar 2020, 11:23 IST