Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) head coach Trevor Bayliss has explained the rationale behind dropping Manish Pandey after the team's third match in IPL 2021. Bayliss said on Wednesday that the sluggish and spin-favouring tracks in Chennai didn't 'suit' Manish Pandey's game.
Meanwhile, SRH captain David Warner recently courted controversy of sorts by claiming that the 'harsh' call to drop Manish Pandey after just three games in the season was made by 'selectors'. That fanned concerns about the prospect of a divided management, with pundits questioning Warner's exclusion from the decision-making.
But speaking after the game against the Chennai Super Kings in Delhi, Bayliss confirmed that the decision was, in fact, made by the selectors. He also expressed hope that the wicket at the Arun Jaitley Stadium would suit Manish Pandey and he continues to be a 'damaging player'.
"Yes, that was certainly the selectors' choice. It was felt that that wicket (Chepauk) didn't suit Manish with the ball stopping and spinning. But (we knew) he would come back into the calculations on a wicket like here in Delhi, and he showed tonight what a good player he is. Hopefully, from here on in, if the wickets are going to be similar, we know what sort of damaging player he can be," said Bayliss.
Manish Pandey played consecutive gutsy knocks in run-chases at the Chepauk but failed to get his team over the line. He was subsequently replaced by youngster Virat Singh in the SRH lineup.
SRH's fortunes changed for the worse without Pandey, and the middle-order batsman had to be called back for the game against CSK.
Manish Pandey proved his mettle again, scoring a fluent 46-ball 61. However, SRH ended up with an underwhelming total and lost by seven wickets.
What's ahead for SRH and Manish Pandey in IPL 2021?
SRH's middle-order combination finally seemed to click on Thursday, with contributions from Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav. But this time, captain Warner consumed too many deliveries at the top, which meant SRH struggled to put up a competitive total.
Bayliss' comments indicate that SRH could stick with Manish Pandey for a few more games.
The 2016 winners have been too hasty in their changes this season, and none of them have yielded the desired results. Although the problem seems more in their approach than in their lineup, one can't rule out another overhaul in their next match.
Meanwhile, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's return could do SRH a world of good. But if he fails to regain fitness, Basil Thampi and Shahbaz Nadeem could replace Sidharth Kaul and Jagadeesha Suchith, respectively in SRH's next match against the Rajasthan Royals on May 2.