Shakib Al Hasan: The incognito colossus of the Sunrisers
The Sunrisers Hyderabad players deserve applause for their efforts to a T. After facing defeat in the playoff match, the Sunrisers have bounced back in style. The players have worked cohesively to claim a spot in the final match. A significant proportion of the credit the SRH squad deserves goes to the bowlers.
Rashid Khan has been the talk of the town owing to some amazing performances. Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Siddarth Kaul have played their respective parts to perfection, especially in the slog overs. However, not much has been spoken about Shakib Al Hasan's contribution.
Shakib has done a great job for the Orange squad whenever his team needed him to deliver. He has been a player that can be relied upon. He has gone under 8 runs an over this year and picked up 14 wickets, crucial ones to be precise. With the bat, he has contributed 216 runs. He has batted quite sensibly and as per the situational demand, forming some useful partnerships.
Let’s take a look at some of his significant contributions:
1) While defending 119 against the Mumbai Indians in the 23rd match, he delivered a magnificent spell of 1/16.
2) Against the RCB in the 39th game, he scored 35 runs in 32 balls and bowled a good spell of 2/36, which included the important wicket of Virat Kohli.
3) Against the KKR in the 10th match, he scalped the key wickets of Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine. He performed well with the bat by scoring 27 runs.
4) Against the KXIP in the 25th match, he scored vital 28 runs and had bowling figures of 2/18.
Shakib's importance in the playing XI is best reflected by his performance in the 2nd qualifier match where the SRH conquered the KKR and made it to the final game. After losing the top order batsmen Wriddhiman Saha and Kane Williamson, the Sunrisers needed the stability that Shakib provided by playing a sensible innings of 28 runs. Later on, he bowled an indispensable spell of 3-0-16-1 where he picked up the crucial wicket of Dinesh Karthik.
Sure he has not set the IPL on fire per se but he has done a commendable job by stitching some short-lived but important partnerships. Shakib has risen to the occasion and acted as the middle order enforcer for the SRH's batting order whenever the team has lost wickets in quick successions.
He has provided Kane Williamson with a very dependable bowling option to restrict the opposition. Shakib has been trusted by Williamson with bowling in the powerplay which is extremely challenging for a spinner.
Not only has he managed to keep up the pressure built by the strike pacers, but he has provided crucial break-throughs in the powerplay. His contribution in the powerplay has given Williamson the opportunity to save his new ball bowlers like Siddharth Kaul Kaul for the death.
Shakib's significance in the team can't be stressed enough. The Sunrisers are only one match away from the trophy and he has an essential role to play.