After the thrashing in the first game against KKR, one would have expected Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina to learn a lesson. But Raina made the same mistake against Sunrisers Hyderabad as he decided to go with four big-hitting batsmen at the top, rather than picking a foreign bowler in James Faulkner or Andrew Tye.
The lack of experienced bowlers in the line-up was clearly visible as KKR romped home by 10 wickets in the opener, but Raina once again picked Jason Roy, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch and Dwayne Smith as the four foreign players. There was no Faulkner or Tye and the end result was a nine-wicket win for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
While there is no guarantee that either Faulkner or Tye would have completely changed the outcome of the game, but having experienced T20 bowlers always helps, especially when you are defending just 135 on a flat deck.
Picking Roy, McCullum, Finch and Smith meant needing at least two of them to fire on all cylinders to bat the opposition out of the game. But with all of them failing to put the stands on fire, it was a case of exposing an inexperienced bowling attack in front of marauders like David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. While Praveen Kumar did manage to dismiss Dhawan for just 9, Warner roared back to form with an unbeaten knock of 76 off just 45 balls. His knock included 4 sixes and six boundaries.
Moises Henriques too joined the party and hit his second successive 50 of the tournament. With Ravindra Jadeja coming back in the next game, Raina will definitely heave a sigh of relief.