The Weird Situation Of The Sunrisers Hyderabad In IPL 2023!
The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League is not yet through to its halfway stage but it is heading there. It’s becoming increasingly clear as to how certain sides are contesting in the most-keenly-watched and admired T20 franchise league in the world.
And while it is a long tournament ahead of us with the final slated for the end of May 2023, the way some teams are performing leaves little or no doubt as to how they may fare in the course of the future.
While the Dhoni and Kohli fever has already gripped much of the cricket-devoted lot, with CSK and RCB easily featuring among the top five IPL teams as of now, the likes of Delhi and Mumbai are struggling. That their struggle is real can be evidenced from the fact that their performances are nowhere close to a Lucknow SuperGiants or a Gujarat unit’s displays.
And while they might not be the worst at the moment, the serious lack of team performances have really hurt the chances of the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Even the weakest teams in the sport don’t desire being the bottom dwellers; this then is the most hotly-debated and exciting T20 series, a one of a kind slugfest between the bat and the ball, where the ultimate winner is the fan given the high octane entertainment the IPL serves.
Which is why the way the Sunrisers Hyderabad are playing or not playing leaves them in a huge spot of bother.
Currently ranked ninth of the ten teams featuring in the IPL 2023 (Lucknow and Gujarat being the latest additions from the onset of 2022), the Sunrisers Hyderabad are at best, a picture of pure perplexion and befuddlement.
If you have a Brian Charles Lara as your main coach with someone like Dale Steyn as the bowling specialist, two of them being world beating performers of their time and you still fare rather horribly in the IPL, then it clearly leaves a lot of scope for improvement.
And even if the odd man debated the fact that maybe Lara as coach isn’t quite working for them how they have liked, a batting side constantly faltering with talents like Aiden Markram, Harry Brook, Rahul Tripathi and Heinrich Klaasen in it, is somewhere beyond reasonable explanation.
It’s the sort of situation that tends to beat common logic as to ‘how could it be…’
It is beyond doubt that theirs is among the most balanced sides competing in the tournament; besides boasting of talented willowers, the Sunrisers Hyderabad also happen to possess some very serious bowling talent.
There’s Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who’s a proven and exceptional wicket taker at the IPL level. He’s, in fact, the highest wicket taker in the Indian Premier League from India’s cauldron. In Umran Malik, the side have arguably the fastest bowler India has seen in a while. With a bit more control (line) and dedication to his craft, he can harrow the best batters around.
An evident weakling, however, is Nattu aka T. Natarajan, who still seems to be nursing an injury he hasn’t quite recovered from; the end result being conceding one run too many for his and his team’s sake as seen particularly in the Green and David-induced big hitting versus the Mumbai Indians.
That the side have lost 3 of their 5 IPL games is anything but a reflection of collective talent and just how far off the target they clearly seem to be.
But when Harry Brook got going the other evening and smashed a furious hundred, which was only after a couple of remarkable failures with the bat, there was finally relief that the batting was finally beginning to click. The end result being an unbeaten 100 that took Kolkata by a complete surprise.
Yet, instead of carrying the winning momentum from the win vs KKR into the game against Mumbai, the Sunrisers Hyderabad plummeted to yet another defeat. That’s when, Heinrich Klaasen had set up the run chase in his team’s favour having smashed multiple sixes towards the closing stages of a contest they should’ve had in the bag.
What many, like Murali Kartik, are debating is whether Klaasen and Washington Sundar are being heavily underutilised as batters given they come to bat far down the order than they should.
Is that true? If that’s indeed a point, then what has Aiden Markram, a fifty from 3 batting outings so far, done about it? Is a tweak on the cards in conjunction with Lara’s approval? Will that work? Moreover, is Harry Brook, the 24-year-old batting sensation from England ready to take up the mantle of big scoring?
Unfortunately, there are plenty of questions out there but no specific answers. What one knows without an element of doubt, however, is that the Sunrisers don’t have that much time left. Another defeat, and their name game begins in a few hours against Chennai, will really shatter whatever confidence they’re left with.
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