Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) all-rounder Vijay Shankar has been ruled out of the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury (Grade 2). He became the third SRH player to be ruled out of IPL 2020 after Mitchell Marsh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The development came to light after Shankar injured his hamstring while bowling his second over against the Delhi Capitals on Tuesday. He was seen clutching his hamstring after delivering the fifth ball of the 12th over following which the physio attended to him.
However, it wasn’t of much help as Vijay Shankar limped off the ground and his captain David Warner completed the over. Notably, wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha too had suffered a groin injury in that match.
“Unfortunately, he’s [Saha] got a little groin niggle but hopefully, it isn’t too bad. Vijay Shankar has a hamstring issue as well,” Warner confirmed after the match.
While Saha has recovered and is available for tonight’s do-or-die clash against RCB, Shankar’s condition deteriorated leading to him being ruled out of the business end of IPL 2020. This is the second time Vijay Shankar has suffered an injury this season after being sidelined with a minor back injury earlier in the tournament.
Vijay Shankar’s absence will leave a big void in the SRH middle order
One of the many concerns plaguing SRH at the start of the season was their fragile middle order. While 19-year-old Priyam Garg has played the occasional big innings and Abdul Samad can strike a few lusty blows, the Hyderabad-based franchise lacked stability in the middle overs.
Vijay Shankar, after recovering from his back injury, perfectly plugged this hole. Not only did he help resurrect the innings with a 51-ball 52 after the loss of early wickets against the Rajasthan Royals, but he also perfectly bridged the gap between the power-packed top order and an inexperienced lower-middle order.
Additionally, Vijay Shankar was more than a handy bowler on the slow UAE wickets. He would stem the flow of runs in the middle overs and also break crucial partnerships. While there are a lot of players in the SRH dugout to replace him in the starting line-up, none have the pedigree to fill Vijay Shankar’s shoes. And perhaps, it’s a bit too late in the season to sign replacements.
In 7 games this season, Vijay Shankar scored 97 runs at an average of 24.25 and also picked 4 wickets at an impressive economy of 6.22.