Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has opined that the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) might struggle to win matches in IPL 2020 with the middle order they possess. He made this observation while reviewing the Hyderabad-based franchise's opening clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
Aakash Chopra pointed out that both RCB and Sunrisers Hyderabad made some intriguing choices in their playing XI. The latter's pick of Mitchell Marsh hurt them badly, with the Australian all-rounder rendered hors de combat.
"Both the teams played an interesting XI with RCB playing Josh Phillipe and Dale Steyn, not playing Chris Morris despite spending so much on him and Moeen Ali as well. Sunrisers Hyderabad didn't play Kane Williamson or Mohammad Nabi. They went for Mitchell Marsh. Very interesting choice but in the end it backfired."
The reputed commentator observed that the Sunrisers Hyderabad were taken aback by the attack launched by Devdutt Padikkal, with the youngster even overshadowing the established Aaron Finch.
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"After opting to bowl first, Sunrisers Hyderabad was confronted with Devdutt Padikkal. At one end is the 20-year old kid and at the other end is Aaron Finch, the Australian white-ball captain. Finch was playing second fiddle to Padikkal, who played some amazing cricketing shots. He is an outstanding player."
Aakash Chopra added that AB de Villiers applied the icing on the cake with his enterprising knock after the openers had got RCB off to a perfect start, even neutralising Rashid Khan, who is Sunrisers Hyderabad's most potent bowler.
"RCB got off to a splendid start, not losing a wicket in the first 10 overs and even neutralised Rashid Khan's overs. After that when they lost a couple of wickets, we saw a splendid innings from an amazing player, AB de Villiers."
While talking about the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting innings, Aakash Chopra pointed out that they were nowhere in the game after the top three batsmen in David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey were dismissed.
"When Sunrisers Hyderabad batted, Warner was out in an unfortunate fashion. Bairstow played very well albiet he got chances. Manish Pandey's batting was okay but after that it was all downhill."
He even mentioned that the Sunrisers Hyderabad do not seem to have a middle order at all, which might make it very difficult for them to win matches as the tournament progresses.
"This team does not have a middle order. Nothing against Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar or Abhishek Sharma, but this is a really really young team. This is not going to work out. If they want to win matches, they cannot do so with this middle-order."
Aakash Chopra on the RCB youngsters who shone against the Sunrisers Hyderabad
Aakash Chopra also highlighted the contribution of some of RCB's young stars in their win against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, and called Devdutt Padikkal a player to watch out for.
"Devdutt Padikkal was excellent and a star to watch out for the future also."
The former KKR player appreciated the pace at which Navdeep Saini bowled while being economical and getting rid of Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the Sunrisers Hyderabad lower order.
"Navdeep Saini, he is really fast and sharp. He started economically and then dismissed two players in the same over, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He is very impressive and if he continues like this, he is a long-term prospect."
Aakash Chopra reserved special praise for Yuzvendra Chahal, and named him as a strong contender for the Purple Cap in IPL 2020.
"Yuzvendra Chahal, he is a contender for the Purple Cap for me. He took 3 wickets in the first match itself and he was absolutely top-class. He was extremely economical to begin with and dismissed Manish Pandey."
The 43-year-old observed that the wily leg-spinner changed the course of the match with his two wickets of successive deliveries when Sunrisers Hyderabad seemed to be walking away with the encounter.
"He was called in to bowl when the match seemed to have slipped from RCB's grasp. That was the only over he had, his last over, in which he first clean bowled Jonny Bairstow and then dismissed Vijay Shankar for a first-ball duck with a googly."
"He turned the match on its head in that over. So, Yuzvendra Chahal was absolutely sensational."
Yuzvendra Chahal was handed the ball to bowl the 16th over, with Sunrisers Hyderabad needing just 43 runs off 30 deliveries and the well-set Jonny Bairstow at the crease. He not only got rid of the dangerous opener but bamboozled Vijay Shankar with a googly off the very next ball to change the complexion of the game.
Published 22 Sep 2020, 10:44 IST