Sunrisers Hyderabad have been a top-heavy side for quite a while now, and the case seems no different for the upcoming season. And with someone like David Warner in the side, who has won the coveted Orange Cap 3 times in his last 4 seasons (the only time he did not get the Orange Cap was when he scored 800-plus in 2016), SRH have a top-order that is capable of taking them past the league stages. With Bairstow joining Warner in 2019, the opening got even more lethal.
On paper SRH do have a glaring problem; the middle and lower middle order. They lack a designated finisher and will depend on the experienced top order guys like Warner and Pandey to see the innings through. However, there is enough potential in the squad for the middle order and all they need is exposure.
As we near the thirteenth edition of the IPL, we look at how SRH batsmen have played against different style of bowling since 2018 and decode their strengths and weaknesses:
- David Warner, Kane Williamson, and Jonny Bairstow stand out from the rest of the lineup in all aspects. Williamson, the Orange Cap holder in 2018, was overshadowed by Warner and Bairstow’s outstanding season in 2019.
- Warner’s average of 57.67 runs per innings is the most for any batsman in the league in the last two seasons. In addition to that, he has scored those runs at a strike rate of 143.87.
- Manish Pandey, after having a below-par season in 2018, was back to his best when promoted to number 3 in 2019. While he has to improve a bit in terms of strike rate and boundary frequency, one can expect him to play the anchor’s role and bat out the middle overs without any casualty.
- Almost all of the mainstream batsmen have done reasonably well against the right-arm pacers, barring Saha and Nabi, who get out way too often. From a strike rate perspective, all of them have a 130-plus strike rate except Saha (125.68).
- Jonny Bairstow’s numbers indicate his love for the right-arm pacers. He maintains a 160-plus strike arte against them while getting dismissed once in 104 balls.
- The other top-order guys including Warner, Williamsona and Pandey have more than decent numbers too; a clear indication not to start with right arm pacers against SRH unless the bowlers are exceptionally good.
- Just like the right-arm pacers, Bairstow has been quite comfortable against the left-arm pacers. Though the sample space is low, he has shown that he can go berserk against them in the 17 balls he has faced.
- Williamson and Shankar score at a very good pace but need to improve on their dismissal rate. Warner has been decent, if not very good. Pandey needs to up his game in terms of strike rate as well as dismissal rate.
- Warner, Pandey and Williamson – all three of them have found it easy against the off-spinners as far as playing them out is considered. Williamson is yet to be dismissed by them despite batting 84 deliveries. Warner scores at a 170-plus strike rate as well, though Pandey has the scope of improving on his scoring rate.
- Bairstow, who has been comfortable against pace, struggles against the off-spinners. His strike rate falls down to 105.26 (the lowest for SRH) and he gets dismissed once in 19 balls.
- Oppositions can use the strategy of starting with off-spin and to counter that, Warner needs to take the majority of the strike and shield Bairstow.
- SRH batsmen haven’t been dismissed too often by slow left-arm spinners but they haven’t been able to go after the bowlers too. Just 4 dismissals from 204 deliveries for all batsmen against SLA bowlers.
- Except for Warner, no other batsmen facing more than 10 balls have a strike rate above 115.
- Pandey and Shankar have been below par in terms of strike rate, both having 80-ish strike rates. Shankar gets out once every 22.5 balls while Pandey has much better dismissal rate.
- David Warner has been one of the best batsmen in the league against the wrist spinners since 2018; he is yet to be dismissed by them after facing 102 deliveries and maintains a strike rate of 145.10.
- Bairstow is the only batsmen among those who have faced more than 20 balls to have a 150-plus strike rate (186.02). However, his dismissal rate can be improved as he gets dismissed once every 19 balls.
- Shankar is the only batsman with a sub-100 strike rate. Williamson and Pandey have been decent, but can work on their strike rates.
Overall, the top order is well equipped to face any kind of bowling. If one struggles against certain kind of bowlers, the other batsman preys on them. In that sense they complement each other well. Pandey can be the anchor for the side, but if given any other role, he seriously needs to work on his strike rate.
There has been little to no exposure for the middle and lower middle order in the last 2 seasons. Nabi, if played, is experienced enough to do the job, but others are quite new. Shankar has struggled against spin and scores at a sub-100 strike rate and others including Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad are untested. The batting lineup is heavily reliant on the top order and it will be crucial for one of the top order guys to play through the innings.