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The Sunrisers Hyderabad middle-order needs Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson will strengthen the vulnerable SRH middle-order.
Kane Williamson will strengthen the vulnerable SRH middle-order.
Vaskar Gautam
ANALYST
Modified 24 Sep 2020, 18:12 IST
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Sunrisers Hyderabad lost their opening match of the 2020 edition of the IPL against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 10 runs. In this defeat, the Orange Army clearly missed one player and that is Kane Williamson.

Hyderabad’s batting is highly dependent on Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. The opening duo is the backbone of their batting order and once they get dismissed, there’s panic in the SRH dugout. It was evident in their opening match against RCB.

Bairstow’s bad slog-sweep against Yuzvendra Chahal resulted in a dramatic batting collapse. They lost seven wickets and scored only 32 runs in the last 5 overs of the match, which ultimately led to their first defeat of the season.

If David Warner and Co don’t find a way to include Kane Williamson in that batting-order, we may see many more collapses like going forward in the tournament. The pitches in the UAE are proving to be tricky ones accompanied by huge boundary sizes. So the average score in the tournament is going to be somewhere around 150, which is perfect for a player like Kane Williamson.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad is a lack of quality Indian batsmen. Manish Pandey is the only proper Indian batsman with international white-ball experience. After that, there’s Vijay Shankar and Wriddhiman Saha, who have done well in the past.

In their opening match of the 2020 IPL, the Sunrisers went with the young names like Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma along with the inconsistent Vijay Shankar in the middle-order. Once the partnership of Pandey and Bairstow was broken, the vulnerable middle-order broke down against the average bowling attack of RCB.

Mitchell Marsh's injury didn’t help the SRH cause either. The Australian was given a chance ahead of Mohammad Nabi and Kane Williamson. Marsh may be out of the tournament due to his ankle injury, which means it’s a toss-up between Nabi and Williamson for a place in the squad.

The inclusion of fast-bowling all-rounder Marsh suggests that SRH were not considering Kane Williamson at all. Instead, it was Nabi or Marsh, and with the dew factor in mind, the latter got the go-ahead.

Also see :- IPL 2020 timetable

The exclusion of the Kiwi skipper will expose the weak middle-order in the coming games, and this was evident in the first match. Nabi is an all-rounder who has a destructive playing style.

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For those who think that Kane Williamson bats slow, let me remind you, that he has a better strike-rate than Manish Pandey in the IPL. Williamson is a perfect choice to bat at no. 3 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

He has played for them at that position in 31 innings and has scored over 1000 runs at an average of 39.54 and a strike rate of 134.55.

Williamson can build the innings and give other players the freedom to play their shots. In order to avoid batting hiccups like in the first match, the Sunrisers Hyderabad batting-order needs to include Kane Williamson.

Published 22 Sep 2020, 15:16 IST
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