"Aren't the Aussies known to take up challenges?" - Mohammad Kaif on Travis Head skipping Mitchell Starc's challenge in KKR vs SRH IPL 2024 final

2024 IPL Final - Kolkata Knight Riders v Sunrisers Hyderabad
Travis Head departed for duck in 3 out of last four IPL 2024 games. [Getty Images]

Mohammad Kaif has pointed out how a wrong move from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) led to openers Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head's dismissals against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2024 final at Chepauk on Sunday, May 26. The former India cricketer pointed out that Head did not take the strike to avoid facing his nemesis Mitchell Starc, who has got him out on duck four times, including in Qualifier 1.

Instead, Abhishek took the strike against Starc, who bowled an unplayable delivery to dismiss him for just two runs off five balls. Head was then caught behind by Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the next over bowled by Vaibhav Arora.

Kaif wrote on X (formerly Twitter):

"For final Abhishek taking first strike, and not Head, was a defensive tactic. Starc has got Head out in the past but aren't the Aussies known to take up challenges head on? Wrong move SRH."

Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma emerged as the leading run-scorers for SRH this season, scoring 567 and 484 runs, respectively.

Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer recently pointed out that the Sunrisers were over-reliant on Head and Sharma apart from Heinrich Klaasen ahead of IPL 2024. final. The crickter-turned-commentator told ESPNCricinfo:

“Klaasen’s wicket is very important in the middle overs. Sunrisers’ batting depends a lot on these three, including Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head. They also have good players like Nitish Reddy and Rahul Tripathi who have performed well. But they rely heavily on those three.”

SRH lose half their side against KKR in IPL 2024 final

A clinical bowling display has helped KKR dominate SRH in IPL 2024 final. Apart from Abhishek Sharma and Travis Head, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Kumar Reddy too departed cheaply in the summit clash. Aiden Markram got off to a start, scoring 20 off 23 balls but threw his wicket away.

At the time of writing, Sunrisers were 77/7 after 12.4 overs, with Klaasen and Pat Cummins at the crease. Abdul Samad (run a ball 4) was the last batter to be dismissed, caught by Gurbaz off Andre Russell.

SRH, who are eyeing the second IPL title, are yet to beat KKR this IPL season. They lost the league game and Qualifier 1 by four runs and eight wickets, respectively. Meanwhile, a third win against the same opponent will help the Knight Riders win their third IPL title, their first since IPL 2014.

Follow the KKR vs SRH IPL 2024 Final live score and updates here.

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