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IPL 2023: Inexperience in T20 format & host of issues plaguing SRH batting order

IPL 2023: Inexperience in T20 format & host of issues plaguing Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) batting order. Reasons for SRH's failure so far in IPL 2023.

IPL 2023: Sunrisers Hyderabad have lost two games in IPL and sitting at the bottom of points table | Walking wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
SRH have lost two back-to-back games in IPL 2023 (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

It seems like that the blessings of cricketing gods are not in favour of the 2016 IPL champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). They have lost both their opening encounters in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season owing to a despicable batting display by the batters in both the matches, first to the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and then to the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) scoring only 131 and 121, respectively.


What’s going wrong for the Sunrisers Hyderabad team that looks solid only on paper but unable to translate the same on the field? Let’s explore all the possible reasons as to why SRH are faltering badly in the batting department.


Lots of chopping and changing in the batting order hurting stability

In a small sample size of two matches, we have already seen changes in the opening pair as well as the batting order for SRH. The first match saw the opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma, while Anmolpreet Singh and Mayank Agarwal opened for SRH in the second game. In the first match against Rajasthan Royals, Abhishek Sharma scored a duck and lost his place in the playing XI against LSG to make way for the solitary Indian wicketkeeper batter Anmolpreet Singh in the opening slot. Abhishek had a wonderful 2022 season where he scored 426 runs in 14 innings striking at the rate of 133.13. The youngster surely deserved a backing from the team management given that he bats in the team as an opener and his left arm orthodox bowling is also quite handy.


Glenn Phillips who played in the first match for SRH against RR had to make way for skipper Aiden Markram in the second game. Even the batting order saw a change with Harry Brook at No.4 and 5 positions against RR and LSG, respectively.



Losing wickets in clusters at the wrong time and no solid partnerships to bail the team out

The Sunrisers have been losing wickets at crucial moments in IPL 2023 with Brian Lara pointing out that in the first game against Royals, the team lost two wickets of Abhishek Sharma and Rahul Tripathi in the first over and in the second match against Lucknow Super Giants, SRH lost three wickets of Anmolpreet, captain Aiden Markram and Harry Brook within seven balls, completely losing steam.


The highest partnership for SRH in both the matches till date in this season has been of 36 runs between Abdul Samad and Umran Malik. What’s even more worrisome is that there has not been a single 50-run stand for SRH and also there has been not even an individual 50-run score from any of the SRH batters.


Lack of T20I exposure hurting SRH

The top-order of SRH comprises the names of Mayank Agarwal, Abhishek Sharma, Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram and Harry Brook. But none of them barring Markram has played international T20 matches regularly for their respective sides. Mayank Agarwal has never played for India in T20 internationals; he has represented India in red-ball cricket playing 19 matches and in white-ball cricket in only 5 ODIs.


Harry Brook isn’t a regular name in T20Is for England, he keeps shuffling in and out of Team England. He had a good outing at the PSL scoring 262 runs in 7 innings which helped him earn an SRH contract of INR 13.25 crore but he is yet to yield any returns on the investment.


Rahul Tripathi got recent exposure in T20 internationals where he made his debut against Sri Lanka and was last seen playing against New Zealand in a home series. It’s only the current SRH skipper Aiden Markram who recently had a lot of T20 exposure whether it be playing for South Africa and earning captaincy for his national team recently. Also, Markram’s captaincy stint for Sunrisers Eastern Cape won them the first ever SA20 league. While the rest of the batters around him look inexperienced and underperformed at the international T20 levels.


IPL 2023, SRH vs RR, Top Performances_ Harry Brook makes his IPL debut for SRH _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_Twitter)
Harry Brook yet to play an impact innings in IPL 2023 (Images: ©IPL/Twitter)

Lack of anchor batter in the top order really not allowing any partnership to prevail longer

Losing early wickets in the powerplay, a dry spell of runs in the powerplay overs, no proper strike rotation and playing wrong shots to up the run rate and losing wickets ultimately in this process are the few dark patches in SRH batting which the team needs to work upon. With the top-order full of hard-hitters like Aiden Markram, Harry Brook and Rahul Tripathi, someone needs to step into the shoes of an anchor to help the team develop longer and stable partnerships.


Mayank Agarwal had successfully played anchor innings with KL Rahul while opening for Punjab Kings. Also, Markram in the recent SA20 league had a lower strike rate of 127.07 but his innings helped stabilise batting of Sunrisers Eastern Cape which earned the team their maiden title.


Once upon a time, the SRH batting order boasted the names of David Warner and Kane Williamson who played the role of anchor in SRH batting order; one bad season and now both are out of SRH franchise, now that’s some pressure on the newly formed SRH team, isn’t it?



Not learning any lessons from failures of previous seasons

The SRH management has been infamous for ousting players based on one bad season. In the 2021 and 2022 seasons, SRH stood at the eighth position and axing of players is one of the primary reasons for the same. Every year players get released, the management comes in with huge purse amount in auction, buys players, players not performing up to expectations, again they get released and this endless cycle goes on for SRH.


Every year the SRH coaching faces a lot of challenges setting the proper team combination and batting order with new set of players. Only when this cycle is stopped and the players get proper backing from the management, that will help reap positive outcomes for this franchise.


Sunrisers Hyderabad play Punjab Kings in their next fixture at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on April 9.



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