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IPL 2020, KKR v SRH: 3 players who flopped | 26 September

Sunrisers Hyderabad were sent to the bottom of the points table by KKR.
Sunrisers Hyderabad were sent to the bottom of the points table by KKR.
ANALYST
Modified 27 Sep 2020, 00:48 IST
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21-year-old Shubman Gill knocked a ball down with a straight bat to long-on, merely walking to the other end with minimal scoreboard pressure. It would be a regular feature of a facile, professional run-chase by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) that hardly looked threatened by the bowling attack of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), after some early setbacks.

This match saw a vastly different KKR from the first game where they were comprehensively beaten. Personnel changed for both teams - mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy and young quick Kamlesh Nagarkoti came in for the Knight Riders, while Mohammad Nabi and Wriddhiman Saha came in to beef up the SRH middle order.

While Varun bowled very well in the middle overs, getting SRH skipper David Warner to lob a simple return catch in the process, it was the KKR personnel from the first game who wore a different look.

For starters, Pat Cummins shrugged off the questions about his bowling by doing a superb job upfront, getting rid of Jonny Bairstow after consistently cramping both openers for room. Kuldeep Yadav bowled just two overs, but had a greater degree of control. Eoin Morgan showed his fine hitting ability with some wonderful shots to ease himself back into form.

The star of the night, however, was Shubman Gill, whose effortless batting through the innings ensured KKR were never under pressure. Quite contrary to the assured batting from the KKR duo of Gill and Morgan, the SRH batting was shambolic save for Manish Pandey's enterprising half century, and did no justice to David Warner's decision to bat first at the toss.

Here, we look at three players who may have let their teams down.


#3 Bhuvneshwar Kumar (SRH)

To have a chance in the game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to trouble the batsmen early on.
To have a chance in the game, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to trouble the batsmen early on.

Defending a small total of 142, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was sent to open the bowling as usual for SRH. Shubman Gill initially looked as tied down as he did against the Mumbai Indians in the first game, but showed his class with a boundary through square leg.

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Unfortunately, the first was the best over he ended up bowling. Bhuvneshwar's next over went for 13 runs - he got the treatment at the hands of Nitish Rana, whose 13-ball 26 ensured that the powerplay was successful for KKR.

In the context of the game, with the ball moving a little, it was up to Bhuvneshwar to turn the game towards SRH - either by getting early wickets, or tying the batsmen down.

That he could do neither - he returned to bowl another over which ended with an Eoin Morgan six - meant that very quickly, the Knight Riders were strolling and never looked like losing the game.

Bhuvneshwar finished with 3-0-29-0, giving nearly 10 runs an over when the required rate was a little above 7.


#2 Sunil Narine (KKR)

Narine
Narine's utility with the bat is waning for the Knight Riders.

In a game where three of KKR's foreign recruits showed what they're valued for - Russell nailed yorkers at the close of the innings, Cummins was economical and lethal with the new ball, Morgan was professional in the chase - the question mark around Sunil Narine in the KKR lineup remained one to be answered.

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In both games thus far, Narine has had an insignificant impact at the top of the order, even getting out for a duck in this game.

With ball in hand, Narine has been relatively hard to get away. However, on a wicket where many KKR bowlers excelled, Narine was unable to pick a wicket, and conceded close to eight runs an over against the SRH batsmen.

While figures of 4-0-31-0 may not seem bad on any other day, in a relatively low-scoring game, this was about par. There are competitors breathing down Narine's back for the fourth overseas player's spot on the KKR bench - Tom Banton with the bat, Chris Green with a similar all-round skill-set - and he would be keen to make an impact in the next game.


#1 Jonny Bairstow (SRH)

Bairstow failed with the bat, costing his side a lot of potential runs.
Bairstow failed with the bat, costing his side a lot of potential runs.

SRH's season in 2019 was one of two distinct halves - commanding performances in the first few games, nothing much to show for in the rest. That they managed to sneak through on Net Run Rate (NRR) was largely due to Jonny Bairstow and David Warner's displays in the early part of the season. The opening partnership between the duo was a crucial cog in the SRH wheel.

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With Warner facing a minor dip in form, it seems to now be on Bairstow to bring momentum to the SRH innings. While he did well in the previous game against Bangalore, he was expertly tied down by Pat Cummins in the powerplay.

Leaving the field for 5 off 10 with his off-stump pegged back by the Aussie, Bairstow left his team marooned without much high-quality batting to come.

Beyond Manish Pandey, not one batsman was able to find timing, and had Bairstow weathered the early storm from KKR, things may have looked different for SRH - not least on the points table.


Published 27 Sep 2020, 00:48 IST
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