The worst fears of Sunrisers Hyderabad came true when Bhuvneshwar Kumar exited the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to injury. The spearhead has been a vital cog and his absence means the inexperienced Indian medium-pacers need to front up to bigger challenges and it puts more pressure on leggie Rashid Khan.
The inexperience clearly showed in the last match against Mumbai Indians when the back end of the innings saw full tosses in plenty. The last five overs fetched 61 runs for Mumbai as Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya made merry at the expense of Sandeep Sharma and Siddarth Kaul – the latter conceding 64 in his four overs.
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It is a concern David Warner will face once again when Sunrisers take on Kings XI Punjab in Dubai on Thursday. The skipper showed glimpses of his wonted form in the last match and that should augur well for a team that struggled to find or clear the boundary even in Sharjah. The 12 boundaries and seven sixers of SRH paled in comparison to Mumbai’s 15 fours and 14 sixers and this lack of firepower needs to be quickly addressed if Hyderabad intend to make it better than two wins from five outings.
Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Manish Pandey and young turk Priyam Garg have all got a half-century under their belt, while Kane Williamson looked in good touch, but lack of partnerships has hurt the Sunrisers. It remains to be seen whether they will retain Williamson or replace him with Mohammad Nabi/Fabian Allan as Jason Holder, who has joined the team in place of Mitchell Marsh, is still in quarantine.
Kings XI have their own set of problems and are languishing at the bottom of the pile with one win from five outings. Barring the last match which saw Chennai Super Kings strike form and score a comprehensive win, the others were close encounters, including even a Super over. Their only win against Royal Challengers Bangalore was comprehensive too – by 97 runs – and they’ll look to regain lost touch. Skipper KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have been prolific along with Nicholas Pooran, but Glenn Maxwell has struggled, while the bowling department has suffered for want of support to Mohammad Shami.