With the Indian Premier League having kicked off in the UAE after a lot of uncertainty, we're at a stage where almost every team has played a game. Last night, we witnessed an encounter between the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore, which saw the latter emerge victorious after a rollercoaster of a second innings.
The RCB's batsmen started off in fine style, with the young Devdutt Padikkal impressing in his debut. However, the dismissal of AB de Villiers at the end of the innings ensured that RCB would post a total 15 runs short of what they could've actually gotten.
In the second innings, the SRH batsmen were off to a fine start, barring Warner's unlucky run-out. Johnny Bairstow looked to be on a mission and received ample support from Karnataka captain Manish Pandey.
RCB's bowlers managed to pull things back and got breakthroughs at the right time and in the end. Honestly, the game could've gone either way and with RCB posting an average first innings score, it was SRH's game to lose.
We explore 3 factors that led to the result going against the Sunrisers.
1) The exclusion of Kane Williamson
The captain of the Blackcaps has to be one of the most underrated T20 batsmen of all time. Despite having put in a tremendous amount of work into his T20 game, which is clearly visible going by his performances in the 2018 edition of IPL, the cool-headed Williamson often finds himself out of the SRH playing XI.
It is ironical that the man who led SRH to the finals in 2018 (due to Warner's ban) along with being the orange cap holder, hasn't found a place in SRH's starting XI.
The Sunrisers, with the exception of the top 3 batsmen, lacked the experience needed in the batting department. This meant that if RCB were able to get the first 3 wickets, the game would be majorly tilted in their favor.
Given that it was a slow wicket that favored Chahal's spin, a batsman such as Williamson would have been tailor-made for the situation. An experienced campaigner in tricky situations, Williamson has been known to approach the game with a calm head on his shoulders, taking just the right amount of risk.
2) Bairstow and Pandey unnecessarily attacking Chahal
The pitches in the UAE are known to be favorable the spinners. So it is safe to say that the batsmen had a reason to be wary especially when there are match-winning spinners such as Yuzvendra Chahal and Rashid Khan in the game. RCB smartly navigated the threat of Rashid Khan, as they managed to get 31 runs off of his 4 overs without losing a wicket, purely by playing risk-free cricket.
The same cannot be said about SRH, as Chahal managed to break through the SRH top order at a time where they seemed to be cruising to victory.
With Pandey and Bairstow set in the 12th over, and the score at 89 for the loss of just one wicket, SRH needed 75 runs in 8 overs - not a daunting task by any means. On the last ball of the over, Chahal managed to deceive Pandey in the flight, with the latter playing a nothing shot unnecessarily to long-off.
Johnny Bairstow set off some fireworks after that before he too made the mistake of attacking Chahal instead of grafting through his overs, which saw his stumps rattled in the 16th over. Bairstow's dismissal left SRH needing 43 runs to from 27 balls, which the inexperienced SRH middle order failed to chase.
3) Mitchell Marsh's injury
A new addition to the SRH squad, Mitchell Marsh was injured right in his first over for his new team. The highly-rated Aussie all-rounder was expected to bowl his quota of 4 overs and pack a punch in the middle order for SRH.
The night had other plans for Marsh, as he only managed to bowl 4 balls before he got injured. This left SRH having to improvise and split the remaining 3.2 overs between Vijay Shankar and Abhishek Sharma, who ended up giving away 30 runs in the 20 balls bowled. They did manage to take two wickets in the process.
However, where SRH really missed Marsh was with the bat in the second innings. The big lad from Perth was supposed to be the finisher in an otherwise inexperienced middle order
Due to the injury, Marsh managed to walk in at number 10, only to play a skyward shot off his first ball whilst being in excruciating pain. He then had to be walked off the field with the help of the team physiotherapist.Published 22 Sep 2020, 14:35 IST