From skipper Williamson’s form to Sundar’s injury, what’s going wrong for SRH in IPL 2022
From winning five consecutive games after first two loses, SRH lose five back-to-back games and now, sitting at no. 8 with 10 points in table.
It doesn't matter how brilliant your squad is, one wrong move might jeopardise your chances of reaching the knockout stage, especially in a huge event like the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a slow start to IPL 2022 season, losing two games in a row against Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). The Orange Army, after the initial debacles, produced a fantastic comeback winning five games in a row. Once it appeared like they were on their way to a fairytale ending, they lost steam and faced losses in their last three games of the tournament.
Where did Kane Williamson's army go wrong? Here are all of the conceivable causes of their decline.
Kane Williamson’s form
Kane Williamson was the first name that SRH retained for INR 14 crores. However, the New Zealander hasn’t shown his class with the bat yet. In 12 matches of IPL 2022, SRH’s skipper has scored only 208 runs with an ordinary average of 18.90 at a poor strike rate of 92.85 with just one half-century which is one of the lowest strike rates among batters who have scored at least 150 runs in IPL 2022. Also, the skipper has scored only one half-century in the 2022 edition.
Though Williamson has won games for SRH with his captaincy, his batting numbers are far below when compared to his high standards. In addition, he is putting extra pressure on the other opener Abhishek Sharma and middle-order batters.
If SRH are looking for another turnaround this season, their skipper needs to fire on all cylinders.
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Exclusion of power-hitter like Abdul Samad?
Abdul Samad was one of the retentions of SRH along with Williamson and Umran Malik. The franchise retained the power-hitter for INR 4 crores.
Despite retaining Samad, the franchise couldn't find a place for him in playing XI. Out of 11 matches SRH played this season so far, the right-hand batter was part of only two games. However, the 21-year-old looked off-colour by scoring just four runs in those couple of games as well. With Nicholas Pooran at 5, Shashak Singh at 6 and Jagadeesha Suchith/Washington Sundar at 7, it seems difficult from team's combination that he would get a game this season.
Multiple Injury Woes
Thangarasu Natarajan's recurrent injuries have unsettled SRH’s bowling attack, because all of the other pacers, with the exception of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, are bleeding runs from the other end.
In ten games of IPL 2022, Natarajan has scalped 18 wickets with an impressive average of 19.22 and strike rate of 13.00. Natarajan’s injury has forced SRH to try out a different set of bowlers. For instance, Marco Jansen’s figures read 0/63 and 0/38 in his last two matches against Gujarat Titans (GT) and CSK, respectively, which is plain disappointing, especially after bowling an economical spell of 3/25 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Furthermore, SRH's situation has been made worse by Washington Sundar's tragic injury in the encounter against Gujarat Titans (GT). Sundar had filled Rashid Khan's shoes to a large extent as SRH had not retained the ace spinner. Despite bowling in both the powerplay and the death overs, Sundar has maintained an economy of eight runs per over, with four wickets.
SRH are without an all-rounder at the bottom of the order. Sundar was hammering runs at a strike rate of 155.81, in addition to grabbing four vital wickets. Jagadeesha Suchith had replaced Washington Sundar in playing XI and took 6 wickets from 4 games in IPL 2022 so far.
Washington Sundar (0/40) and T Natarajan (1/43) joined back the SRH post injury against KKR and their figures weren't that impressive as in the initial phase of the IPL 2022 season.
Read More: IPL 2022, SRH vs KKR, Top Performances: Russell’s brilliance (49*, 3-22) diminishes SRH Playoffs bid
Speed guns are leaking runs in almost every game
Though Umran Malik had 18 wickets this season including a five-wicket haul against GT, the speedster is leaking runs at a rate of 9.02 per over, making the job of their defensive bowlers a little more difficult. Malik has been hugely expensive for Sunrisers' in last few games, conceding a combined 125 runs in 10 wicketless overs.
Romario Shepherd and Kartik Tyagi, who have each played only two matches this season, are also going for plenty of runs. Shepherd has conceded 75 runs in 48 balls he has bowled in IPL 2022 with an expensive economy of 9.38. On the other hand, Kartik is also not looking as lethal as he used to be in the previous seasons with RR. The speedster has taken only one wicket this season by conceding 79 runs in eight overs he bowled in two matches he played this season. While in IPL 2022, he had taken four wickets in four matches at a strike rate of 21 and best figures of 2/29.
Read More: IPL 2022, Tale of Friends turning Foes: From Warner’s 92* against SRH to Kuldeep’s 8 KKR scalps
Extra pressure on the middle-order
Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran and Rahul Tripathi have scored 358, 263 and 317 runs, respectively, in this season’s 12 games. However, the trio is coming in to bat in immense pressure situations because of the poor opening stand. Either skipper Williamson is getting out early or eating a lot of deliveries which is adding extra responsibilities for this trio.
Markram, Pooran and Tripathi have strike rates of 141.50, 146.11 and 159.29, respectively in IPL 2022. But either they are chasing the extra 20 runs leaked by the bowlers or covering for the dot balls skipper Williamson is playing which surely isn’t helping SRH as a team.
SRH, currently ranked at number 8 in the points table, play their next game against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Wankhede Cricket Stadium in Mumbai on May 17.
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