NEW DELHI: Former Indian captain and opener Krishnamachari Srikkanth marked out Sunrisers Hyderabad as the most dangerous side at the moment as it reached the IPL 2020 playoffs with three straight victories despite missing key players to due to injuries.
In his column for the Times of India, Srikkanth wrote, “Hyderabad have proved beyond doubt what an aggressive mindset can bring about. Staring at the wrong end of the barrel, they picked up their game at the right moment to register three thumping wins and by some distance look the most dangerous side at the moment. Remember, they made the cut despite losing key players to injuries during the campaign, none bigger than missing the services of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. To make the top-four without a senior Indian bowler is a commendable achievement indeed.”
The credit for SRH’s success in the past few matches goes to the opening pair of David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha. While Warner has led SRH from the front, scoring 529 runs from 14 games to occupy the second spot in the scorers’ list, Saha (184 runs from 3 matches) has proved that the SRH team management has erred in benching him for 11 ties.
“Opener Saha has been instrumental in the revival. Playing proper cricket, the stumper has taken the fight to the opponents in no small measure. His consistency and strike rate has also allowed Warner to settle in well rather than look for runs from the word go,” Srikkanth added.
RCB suffered four consecutive defeats to finish the league stage at the fourth spot and their confidence would be rock-bottom.
“Bangalore on the other hand could well be mulling a few changes. In my opinion, they should back the experience of Aaron Finch in a must-win game and also look at including Moeen Ali. The all-rounder not only provides the option in all departments, he definitely takes some pressure off De Villiers and Kohli and also negates the effect of Rashid Khan to an extent,” Srikkanth wrote.
Young Devdutt Padikkal, who scored his fifth fifty of the event in their last game, has been consistent at the top but captain Virat Kohli needs to step up as of late, his strike rate has come under the scanner.
“Devdutt Padikkal has been one young batsman who has caught the eye, yet a lot will depend on the big two in a crunch game. It could well boil down to how Bangalore cope against the sustained accuracy of Hyderabad’s bowling,” Srikkanth added.
The Saha-Warner duo has clicked upfront and has so far shared two century stands — 107 against DC and then 151 against MI. Such has been Warner and Saha’s performance that the likes of Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg and Jason Holder were hardly bothered.
“The Saha-Warner combination is also a double-edged sword, if it doesn’t click on the big day, the slightly inexperienced top-order will have its work cut out. This game will be extremely difficult to predict and I am sure it will be a cracker of a contest. Hyderabad might hold a slight edge on current form,” Srikkanth concluded.