The Sun Risers Hyderabad are looking good after bagging a place in the main tournament, thanks to some excellent display of batting by the skipper Shikhar Dhawan. One could go as far as to say that he carried the Hyderabad batting on his shoulders throughout the knockouts. But there is where the disaster lies. In the final match against Otago Volts, Dhawan was dismissed cheaply and suddenly the team which punched above its weight looked ordinary. If a bowling all-rounder like Darren Sammy plays at number five that should give us an idea about the depth in batting. In the bowling department, Sunrisers look a decent side, except for that one domestic fast bowler. The presence of an in form Amit Mishra in the bowling department has strengthened the quality of attack and the other leggie Karan Sharma has been supporting him quite well actually. The fast bowlers complement each other extremely well. When on form, the Hyderabad bowling attack could wreak havoc in any batting line-up. In the batting department, the wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel is not as consistent, but he makes up for it by playing the perfect second fiddle to the dashing Dhawan. And considering the fact that there are no suitable replacements for the diminutive wicket-keeper, sun risers do not really have many options.
The situation of Hyderabad is quite similar to the Indian team if the 90’s. If the wicket of Sachin falls early, then there is almost no chance of an Indian victory. Likewise, if Dhawan falls cheaply, then there are remote chances of a Sunrisers victory as demonstrated by Dhawan in the past couple of days. It is mainly due to fact that they lack depth in their batting, considering the fact that an unknown rookie Biplab Samantray walks out to bat at number three. Cameron White is not in the best of forms and his inclusion could only be a mistake, since Thisara Perara’s services with the ball is more required than White’s batting. Apart from these players, Hyderabad does not have credible options to go to and a sudden lack of form in Dhawan could result in total collapse of the team. This is where the experience of a batsman like Kumar Sangakkara is being missed. His inclusion could have meant that Sunrisers have some solid to hold the innings together in case of an early wicket. He is in form as well and dropping him was a debatable decision. But Sunrisers can take heart from the performance of JP Duminy. His half-century in the match against Volts would let them heave a sigh of relief since White, Perera and Sammy are completely unreliable in crunch situations. Duminy, on the other hand, revels in such scenarios as he has proved time and again for South Africa. If Sunrisers have to go all the way in the tournament, then the top three batsmen have to bat out of their skins. Because two quick wickets upfront could lead to a collapse since none of the other batsmen are competent to hold the innings together. Maybe Sammy or Perera could perform a rescuing act by blasting a quick fire inning, but that would not be sufficient to take them all the way. The best they can do is by playing both the all-rounders along with Duminy and White, but they cannot afford to lose the services of their premier fast bowler as well. It is a precarious situation for them.
Sunrisers need to buy a good domestic batsman come next season. Apart from that small imperfection, they have the perfect side to compete against the best. Maybe they should drop non-performing foreigners and focus more on Indian players just like Rajasthan Royals. That could yield more results. For now, they have performed very well to get through to the main tournament and expectations are high, especially after Dhawan took over captaincy. Whether he could lead them to glory remains to be seen though!