Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner believes the decision to drop Manish Pandey from the team's line-up was a harsh call. However, he backed young Virat Singh and cited a lack of experience on challenging surfaces like those in Chennai for the team's middle-order issues.
Chasing 160 on a tough surface against Delhi Capitals (DC), Kane Williamson found no support in the middle overs. Batting at No.9, Jagdeesha Suchith slammed an unbeaten six-ball 14 to support Williamson (66 from 51 balls) and helped the SRH tie the game, but the Delhi Capitals clinched a win in the Super Over.
Between Virat Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan and Vijay Shankar, SRH got just 26 runs off 37 balls. Manish Pandey's presence could have made a difference.
Speaking about Manish Pandey being dropped from the side, David Warner said:
"It depends on the selectors; it was a harsh call as per my opinion (on leaving out Manish Pandey). But at the end of the day, it is a decision that they took, and you cannot discredit Virat. He's a very good player, and the surface was difficult. They bowled well in the middle and made it challenging for us."
In the three matches that Manish Pandey played, he scored 101 runs at 50.5 at a strike rate of 112.2. His replacement Virat Singh has managed only 15 runs from two innings in IPL 2021.
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David Warner praises SRH bowlers
David Warner reserved praise for the SRH bowlers who contained the explosive DC line-up to 159 despite a belligerent start. DC's Prithvi Shaw looked in imperious form as the side raced to 51 after the powerplay and looked set for a total over 180.
"The way our bowlers came back after the powerplay was fantastic. We knew on this surface if you get off to a flier, it is always going to be tough in the middle. The bowlers executed well. Vijay Shankar (3-0-19-0), who is not one of our strike bowlers, bowled fantastically and could have bowled him an extra one. That's the handiness of having him in the middle, but the bowlers got us to a good total to chase," said David Warner.
"Obviously, Jonny (Bairstow) at the top of the order and Kane (Williamson) taking it deep, we couldn't bat well in the middle overs," said David Warner, who fell run out after an eight-ball six," concluded the SRH skipper.