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IPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad batters find their cheat code in modern-day T20 cricket

IPL 2024: Sunrisers Hyderabad have set the highest innings total (287 runs) bettering their own record (277) in a single edition of IPL. What's the secret of SRH batting?

IPL 2024_ Abhishek Sharma giving good start to SRH; SRH set highest innings record (287 runs) | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Abhishek striking at 197 for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2024 (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Every time Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) turns up against a team, the opposition bowlers feel petrified. If the former goes on to bat first, the opponents could prepare for a 220-230 run chase. There was a period when getting to 220 was tough. However, the Sunrisers have written their new thrilling script with the bat. 

It was the eighth game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. The hosts SRH put up a huge score of 277/3 against Mumbai Indians (MI). That was the highest team score in IPL history. 21 games later in about three weeks, they broke their own record by reaching 287/3 against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB).

Let’s break the innings progression of the SRH side in this IPL 2024

Rollicking powerplay, wild middle overs, and fiery death overs- SRH find their secret sauce

If a comparison could be made between the 277 and 287-run games, there would be many common aspects. In both affairs, the Sunrisers made a fantastic start in the powerplay. Against Mumbai, Mayank Agarwal and Abhishek Sharma offered them a 45-run opening stand in 4.1 overs. They ended the powerplay with 81/1. 

In the encounter against RCB, the 2016 champions smashed the bowlers for 76/0 in the first six overs. The opening stand continued for 108 runs in 8.1 overs. In the first six overs of batting in this IPL, SRH have managed 379 runs in six innings. These came at the highest strike rate of 175.46 with the second most sixes (21) and boundaries (43). 

In the evening against MI in Hyderabad, the hosts smoked 121/2 from the seventh to 15th over mark. In this same period, they entertained with 129/2 against RCB. One of the reasons behind their success is their free-flowing batting in the middle overs. Hyderabad have the best strike rate (155.56) in this period with the most sixes (30). 

One of the key departments for a high-scoring T20 game is the finishing. Against Mumbai, the 2018 runners-up collected 75/1 in the last five overs. With more fuel, they countered 82/1 in the same period against the 2016 runners-up. In this period of the IPL 2024, the SRH have the best strike rate (198.82) with the second most sixes (26). 

IPL 2024_ Travis Head scored ton against RCB; SRH set highest innings record Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Travis Head scored ton against RCB (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Deep batting order and aggressive approach

One of the biggest secrets behind SRH’s triumph in the batting department is their fearless approach. From the beginning of the innings to the end, every batter is smashing every bowler in every phase. There is just no stopping. 

How cool was it for Travis Head to open the innings, and leave about eight overs for the other batters? And, that was after the left-handed Australia batter smashed the fourth fastest IPL century in just 39 balls! 

The cheat code was there. Head was smoking the RCB bowlers in all pockets of the game. But it didn’t stop his opening partner Abhishek Sharma from whacking the bowlers from the other end. Modern-day T20 demands the exact destruction. Even Sharma left the field with 34 runs in 22 balls. 

“Our scores need a 3 in front of it, doesn’t it now?” Head said at the mid-innings break. 

The Hyderabad management decided to promote Heinrich Klaasen to number three. It took the wicket-keeper six balls before smoking his first six of the night over deep square leg. Anything that was in his arc and in the straight line was getting deposited into the fence. If his 31-ball 67-run knock wasn’t enough, Abdul Samad increased the heat for the bowlers. 

His four boundaries and three sixes helped him reach 37* in 10 balls. From the other end, Aiden Markram looked to be batting a tad slow, but his strike rate was around 190 as well. Even after that, they had Nitish Kumar Reddy as a power-hitter. Pat Cummins and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could swing their willows in vital moments too. 

The pitches have been flat so far in most of their games, but they have made the most of it in setting a total. It wasn’t a cakewalk to break their record of 277, and that too by 10 runs. 

IPL 2024, SRH vs MI _ Heinrich Klaasen scored 80 off 34 against Mumbai Indians; SRH beat MI _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©IPL_X)
Heinrich Klaasen striking at nearly 200 in IPL 2024 (Images: ©IPL/X)
Extensive boundaries, technology and practice

The difference between other teams and the Sunrisers Hyderabad is the number of boundaries. In their game against the five-time champions Mumbai, they cracked 19 boundaries and 18 sixes in their allotted 20 overs. The equation says that they smashed a boundary in nearly three to four balls. So, out of those 277 runs, 184 runs came through the boundaries. 

In their last game against RCB, the ‘Orange Army’ nailed 19 fours and 22 sixes. Their boundary rate went beyond two per over. Out of those 287 runs, 208 came through the big shots. Bengaluru fell short in dealing with the sixes. Only 16 sixes came off their bat, as they lost by 31 runs. So far, Hyderabad’s 77 sixes in six innings is the most sixes by a team in this IPL. It’s scary to imagine that they were hitting around 13 sixes per game. 

The ‘Impact Player’ rule has helped the Hyderabad franchise immensely. Even with technology, they are getting the information of specific bowlers of a certain period. The dimensions of the ground and the best line or length also help them in this process. 

Certain teams have shown aggression at the top, in the middle overs, or during the death overs. But no team has kept the same intent throughout the 20 overs. Most of the high-scoring games are 220-230, but SRH’s 277 or 287-run games are giving their bowlers a vital 20-25 run cushion. Even after losing three wickets inside the powerplay against Punjab Kings (PBKS), they finished close to 180. 

So far, SRH’s new strategy has brought a lot of excitement among the fans. They still have eight games to play in the league phase of the tournament. It will be breathtaking to see them setting new milestones with the bat. 


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