Played 14 Won 6 Lost 8; Lost to Delhi Capitals in Eliminator
Davey-Jonny tango at the top; Manish Pandey's promotion to No.3
That David Warner and Jonny Bairstow were the fulcrum of Sunrisers Hyderabad playing eleven would be an understatement. The duo almost single-handedly carried Hyderabad in the first few games getting their teams off to a flyer almost every single time. Out of the top ten highest partnerships so far this season across all teams for any wicket, the duo features three times with their 185-run stand against Royal Challengers Bangalore easily topping the charts. They have had four 100+ run partnerships in just 10 games, an outstanding accomplishment in itself. It comes as no surprise then that Warner is still the leading run-scorer (692) so far in the competition despite playing fewer games while Bairstow is placed eighth in the run getters list.
Another key reason behind Hyderabad's successful late surge in the tournament post Warner and Bairstow's departure was Manish Pandey's promotion to the No.3 position. Batting lower down the order in the early stages, Pandey couldn't buy a run but the promotion infused a new lease of life and he recorded three half-centuries in his last five group games for Hyderabad. He couldn't do the same in the eliminator but that should not take anything away from the exceptional tournament Pandey had.
What Didn't Work
Fragile middle-order; Rashid Khan's middling season
Warner and Bairstow did the job for Hyderabad so often that the middle-order initially did not get enough chances and when they did, the script did not always go to plan. The likes of Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda and Vijay Shankar failed spectacularly while even Kane Williamson, who has missed a chunk of games due to injury, didn't really get going. A constant shuffling in the middle-order too didn't do Hyderabad any favours.
The other key reason behind Hyderabad's underwhelming performances this season was the performance of their ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan. The 20-year-old was economical but batsmen were wary against him and looked to play out his overs and go all-out against the rest of the bowling unit. He returned brilliant figures of 2/15 in the eliminator but Hyderabad weren't able to make it through.
David Warner | M: 12 | R: 692 | A: 69.20 | 50s: 8 | 100: 1 | S/R: 143.86
Eight fifties, one hundred in 12 games at an average of 69.20 and a strike-rate of 143.86. Anyone who said Warner might be rusty having not played enough competitive cricket owing to his one year ban would have had to eat his words. The left-hander had a steely determination from ball one and displayed it with some gusto. He scored runs in almost every game and was one of the biggest reasons Hyderabad found themselves into the top four. His absence was sorely missed in the playoffs but he ensured he ended the competition as the leading run scorer.
Khaleel Ahmed | M: 9 | W: 19 | E/R: 8.21 | A: 15.10
The left-arm pacer from Tonk bowled like a dream in the Power Play and was equally effective in the death overs as well. Having had a stint with Indian team, Khaleel's confidence has grown in abundance and he delivered every time his team needed him. In all, Khaleel returned 19 wickets in nine matches at an average of 15.10 and a strike rate of 11.0. At times, he even outshone his senior counterpart Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Yusuf Pathan and Vijay Shankar
With the World Cup selection out of the way, many would have expected Vijay Shankar to be the shining star for Hyderabad this season. He was giving the chance to bat in prime positions and even sent down a few overs but the all-rounder failed to fire. He could only manage 244 runs in 15 games with a best score of 40* and with the ball picked up just one wicket.
Yusuf Pathan too could not do much with the bat, ball or on the field and was even dropped a number of times. Hyderabad would have dearly loved his experience in the middle-order but his indifferent form meant a hole huge to fill.
The English opener has been around the circuit for a while but this was the first time he played at the IPL and boy did he make an impact! He slammed 445 runs in 10 matches with two half-centuries and one ton. His runs came at a strike-rate of 157.24 and an average of 55.62. Bairstow had to leave for England duties but will be itching to come back next year and make an impact at the event.
Areas to Improve Next Season
The middle-order! It has been a thorn in the flesh for Hyderabad all through the season. They have been exceptional at the top, bowling has been effective but losing wickets in the middle has haunted them all tournament. They will desperately be needing some personnel changes in that area.
First Published: May 9, 2019, 8:40 AM IST