Sunrisers Hyderabad started their IPL 2021 campaign with a narrow loss against Kolkata Knight Riders. Although it was primarily their bowler who conceded 187 runs against KKR but it is also their batting order which raised few questions.
Sunrisers decided to continue with Wriddhiman Saha in the opening slot along with the captain David Warner. Saha played only four matches in IPL 2020 but did make some impact in the later stage of the tournament before getting sidelined due to injury. Looking at that performance it did make some sense in keeping Saha in the top. However, whether he can deliver regularly that will be a question. Although Saha kept in the first match, SRH do have another wicket keeper option in Jonny Bairstow. Bairstow is in brilliant form since the limited over series against India and currently looking like the best batsman for SRH. If the team management does not want to add the extra responsibility of keeping to Bairstow, they will continue to stick to Saha. However, if they decide to utilise Bairstow as the wicket keeper that will give them the flexibility to bring another Indian batsman in either experienced Kedar Jadav or youngsters like Priyam Garg or Vishal Singh. They can also opt for the allrounder Abhishek Sharma to add another bowling option in their eleven.
Another India batting option they can ticker with is the position of Vijay Shankar. The Tamil Nadu all-rounder played the first and was also sent before the Jammu & Kashmir youngster Abdul Samad. Where Samad had a successful Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy where he maintained a strike rate around 148, Shankar played only 1 match and scored just 4 runs. He did have his history with injury and Sunrisers may opt to replace him by those various Indian options like Jadav, Garg, Singh and Sharma.
The other area for debate for SRH
The other area for debate for SRH would be whether they can bring Kane Williamson and Jason Holder in the squad. Holder is contesting for the allrounder spot with Mohammad Nabi and once SRH moves to a slightly spinner friendly venues compared to Chennai, Holder should definitely find himself in the eleven. It is slightly tricky for Williamson though. Their Coach Trevor Bayliss mentioned that Kane was not yet fit during the first match but once he will be available for selection that will create some serious selection dilemma. Having a top three of Warner, Bairstow and Williamson is mouth-watering proposition but that would mean entire Indian middle and lower order with Rashid Khan occupying the fourth overseas spot.
As the tournament progresses it will be interesting to observe the best batting combination for the Sunriseres.