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IPL 2021, RR vs SRH: 3 reasons why the Sunrisers Hyderabad lost

Jos Buttler overcame his history of struggle against Rashid to play a knock for the ages.
Jos Buttler overcame his history of struggle against Rashid to play a knock for the ages.
ANALYST
Modified 02 May 2021
Feature

The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) plummeted to their sixth loss of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season, as the Rajasthan Royals (RR) comprehensively beat them in Delhi.

Making huge news for their decision to replace stalwart skipper David Warner, both as captain and batsman, SRH had a miserable outing to herald the new era.

Batting first, RR lost Yashasvi Jaiswal early when the southpaw attempted one shot too many against Rashid Khan, but SRH found the damage hard to contain from there on.

After Rashid bowled out, Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler took control, smashing the SRH bowling to all parts of the ground. Buttler scored his first IPL hundred to guide RR to 220, which was far too many for SRH as nobody got going for long.

Here are the three biggest reasons why SRH lost to RR on May 2.


#3 SRH's move to bowl Rashid Khan out early

Rashid Khan did pick up a wicket, but could have been utilised more smartly.
Rashid Khan did pick up a wicket, but could have been utilised more smartly.

The first tactical change visible in Kane Williamson's captaincy on the day was the move to bowl Rashid Khan in the powerplay.

The rationale behind the move was Jos Buttler's poor past record against the spinner, as well as the likelihood of building pressure during the powerplay at an otherwise high-scoring venue. The move paid off partially, as Rashid kept Buttler tied down and also picked up the wicket of Jaiswal.

Williamson wasn't content, however, and persisted with his strike bowler after the powerplay. When Rashid didn't pick up any more wickets, Williamson was forced to bowl his fifth and sixth bowlers to a well-set duo of Buttler and Samson. And they received the treatment expected, going for 63 runs in their combined four overs.

Mixing things up with the introduction of Mohammad Nabi earlier on could have allowed SRH to attack RR with Rashid later in the innings - an opportunity they missed.


#2 The SRH middle order's slow batting

Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar couldn
Kane Williamson and Vijay Shankar couldn't carry on from the openers' platform.

Although SRH ticked off an important box in the powerplay, as their new opening pair of Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow scored at close to ten runs an over in that phase, the innings faltered from there on.

After the eighth over, when both openers were back in the shed, the match was in the hands of Williamson, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav. Strangely enough, all three batsmen chewed up deliveries and batted at almost exactly a run a ball, scoring 47 off 48 balls to concede the game to RR.

Mohammad Nabi was the only batsman who looked to match the required run rate, with a superb 5-ball 17, but couldn't carry on. Eventually, SRH's lower order had too much to do due to the middle order's failure.


#1 RR's overseas stars fire in unison

Buttler stole the show, while Miller chipped in with a last-ball six again.
Buttler stole the show, while Miller chipped in with a last-ball six again.

The most unlucky franchise this season, RR have had to make do with just four foreign players, which has complicated selection for them before their requested reinforcements arrive.

The lack of pressure on their spot has occasionally meant headaches for the management when the overseas stars fail, but the sheer amount of game time has allowed them to settle into their roles.

While David Miller wasn't needed much, Jos Buttler shrugged off an insipid season by his standard to star with a hundred. Mustafizur Rahman and Chris Morris gave the team their money's worth with twin, economical three-fors that peeled away the bulk of SRH's batting beyond the openers.

It was a superb team performance in stark contrast with SRH's foreign players, who impressed in parts but left a lot to be desired.


Published 02 May 2021
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