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IPL 2023: In-form Harry Brook gives advantage to SRH?

IPL 2023: In-form Harry Brook gives advantage to Sunrisers Hyderabad? SRH bought Harry Brook in IPL 2023 mini-auction for a whopping INR 13.25 crore.

Harry Brook is one of the shining prospects for England cricket in coming years _ Walking Wicket (Courtesy_ ©Getty Images)
Harry Brook was bought by SRH for INR 13.25 cr (Images: ©EnglandCricket/Twitter)

Known for his flamboyant style of play, 24-year-old England batter Harry Brook has been an amazing find in recent times and is well and truly on his way to consolidating his place as a three-format specialist batter for his national side. In December last year, he achieved a significant milestone in his career when he was acquired by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 mini-auction for a whopping INR 13.25 crore. Brook emerged as the the top buy by SRH in the mini-auction and received the third-highest winning bid for an England player after all-rounders, Sam Curran (INR 18.25 crore) and Ben Stokes (INR 16.25 crore).

Brook’s signing helps SRH fill big void created by exit of big names

After releasing a major chunk of players ahead of the auction, most notably Kane Williamson and Nicholas Pooran, the 2016 IPL champions freed up a lot of cash which allowed them to launch themselves right from the onset. They were embroiled in an intense bidding war with Rajasthan Royals (RR) as both the franchises were desperate to acquire the services of Brook. Eventually, SRH succeeded in outbidding RR as the latter fell well short of pursuing Brooks.

Although, several experts and fans were critical of SRH’s move of acquiring the England batting prodigy for an exorbitant amount, the SRH think tank was pretty pleased with their signing. And why would they not? Sunrisers Hyderabad have had to let go of many high profile batters which eventually created a big void in their batting department. First to go was David Warner who was stripped of his captaincy back in 2021 after SRH ended their disastrous campaign with only 3 wins to their name. Later next year, SRH decided to part ways with Warner on a very bitter note. Following his departure, Kane Williamson took over the captaincy role and he too got under fire as SRH failed to reach the play offs and finished at no. 8 spot in the points table. During this time, one also witnessed a downward trend in Williamson’s batting and on that note, SRH decided to show him the exit door on a rather sour note.

Brook was brilliant against Pakistan in 2022; a factor which SRH considered?

Amidst the exodus of such major batting superstars, calls for a viable replacement began to grow louder in the SRH camp. That is when they decided to rope in Harry Brook for a colossal amount after capturing a glimpse of his true batting abilities in the recently concluded Test series in Pakistan last year. He was adjudged player of the series for his phenomenal batting performance there. He ended the Test tour with a total of 468 runs to his name while averaging an unbelievable 94. What was interesting to see was the way he dominated the spin bowling attack and scored briskly with a lethal strike rate of around 100.

Brook’s attacking stroke play especially in dicey subcontinent conditions allowed England to comfortably set high totals in a very short time span leaving the bowlers with enough time to dismantle the fragile Pakistan batting order. Furthermore, the way he aggressively tackled the in-form Abrar Ahmed was surely a treat to watch. Abrar enjoyed immense success in that series and appeared to be a far more threatening bowler compared to the rest. He bowled his heart out on the lifeless pitches of Karachi and Multan and was getting the ball to talk a lot keeping England batters in check. But that was not enough to deter Brook as he continued to thwart the promising bowling line of Pakistan and went on to notch up two match-winning centuries for his national side.

SRH think tank would have surely taken notice of this feature and realised that he may be a good fit for the slow and low Indian conditions. Besides, the Hyderabad-based franchise also got to witness Brook’s flair as a specialist T20 batter after he was adjudged player of the series against Pakistan in their own backyard. He ended the T20I series with an exceptional record scoring 238 runs at an average of 79.33 whilst maintaining a lethal strike rate of 163.01. Simply put, the youngster has been batting on another planet.

Brook commenced his Test career with a bang by shattering a 30-year old record set by Vinod Kambli. With 800 runs in 9 Test innings, Brook turned out to be the highest run getter in just 9 Test innings surpassing legends like Herbert Sutcliffe (780), Sunil Gavaskar (778) and Everton Weekes (777). Also, SRH think tank would be well aware of his batting exploits in the 2022 Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he achieved a rare feat by becoming the youngest ever centurion in the history of PSL.

Future Leader?

Moreover, the team management is also viewing him as a future leader in the absence of Aiden Markram. Following the exit of David Warner and Kane Williamson from SRH camp, the franchise was on the lookout for a top-order batter who could also be groomed for a future leadership role. Given that Brook has captained the U-19 national team made him the ideal candidate and hence justifies such a heavy bidding for him.

It is fair to conclude that Harry Brook is a rising star for England and at such a young age he has reached some major milestones in his international career. His ability to score at a rapid pace against high quality bowling line ups has been a key standout feature of his batting.

Sunrisers Hyderabad have indeed invested their resources on the right man and can breathe a sigh of relief. One can surely anticipate Brook to go berserk and look forward to seeing some spectacular fireworks that would light up the 16th edition of IPL.

IPL 2023 commences on March 31 with a game between defending champions Gujarat Titans and Chennai Super Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

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