SRH Captain Pat Cummins, and Head Coach Daniel Vettori.
SRH Captain Pat Cummins, and Head Coach Daniel Vettori. Image Credit: X

In both games for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024, the former has faced defeat. In the league stage, they couldn’t hold their nerve, as they accepted a short four-run defeat, while in the first qualifier, they were hammered by the Knight Riders.

During the league game of the SRH at the Eden Gardens, the home side was invited to bat first. Thanks to the unbeaten 64-run knock in 25 balls, and a firing 17-ball 35-runs, the Knight Riders put on 208/7 in their allotted 20 overs.

Most of the SRH batters go start but couldn’t convert them in big figures, as they keep on struggling for the right momentum. However, Heinrich Klassen nailed a magnificent 29-ball 63-run knock, shouldering on eight sixes and zero boundaries, to take them close. However, with his dismissal in the penultimate ball of the last over, the ‘Orange Army’ fell short by four-runs.

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‘SRH threw in the towel in Ahmedabad…’ – Kevin Pietersen blames Hyderabad’s poor decisions

Since then, Sunrisers Hyderabad turned the table. In the very next game, they put on 277/3 against the Mumbai Indians, a record total in T20s, to open their account with a 31-run defeat. The four-match winning streak for the SRH franchise, where they got the better of Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Punjab Kings (PBKS), Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and Delhi Capitals (DC) have them a strong chance of qualifying in the playoffs.

However, they slipped again in the middle of the 17th season of the tournament. Hyderabad earned one solitary victory in the next four games, and that win too cam by only one-run against the Rajasthan Royals at home- Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

The way they chased down 166-runs at the home venue against the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) was absolutely fantastic. Both opener showed aggression of a different level. Travis Head remained unbeaten on 89-runs in 30 balls, while Abhishek Sharma smashed 75* runs in 28 deliveries.

However, coming into the first qualifier, against the Knight Riders, the SRH franchise just looked awful in every single department of the game. Their batting didn’t click, as they lacked a bit of game sense, while the bowling too look below average, as the two-time champions blew them for the eight-wicket defeat.

Former England captain Kevin Pietersen blamed the team for not being stable under pressure as the SRH captain Pat Cummins made a few mistakes in his leadership.

‘I didn’t like the way the Sunrisers threw in the towel the other evening in Ahmedabad, and I think it’s going to put them on the back foot for the start on Sunday. The way they just finished that game off, Pat Cummins gave Travis Head the ball, and Shreyas Iyer just went bang, bang, bang. It’ll give KKR a lot of confidence going into the finals knowing that they’ve already beaten SRH a couple of days ago,” The retired England middle order batter Kevin Pietersen expressed on Star Sports.

There were so many speculations over the price tag of INR 20.50 crore of Pat Cummins, but the Australia captain did a brilliant job in his maiden stint for the franchise as a captain. David Warner led this SRH team to their first IPL trophy in 2016, as Cummins look to emulate the same feat.

The veteran commentator also gave his weight on how the SRH team have structured the team for big titles as they won during the SA20 league.

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So, it’s going to be really hard for the Sunrisers to get up, but I think they will because they won the SA20, so they know how to win.’ KP observed. ‘They’ve got a structure that knows how to win, and when you’ve got that belief within the franchise, that belief within the ownership, then momentum has its own way.’

‘I’m actually very, very happy that SRH got into the final just because of what they’ve done for the game of cricket in the last eight to nine weeks. I think it is absolutely right that the Sunrisers are in this final,” Kevin Pietersen concluded.

The final of the IPL 2024 will take place on May 26, 2024 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, in Hyderabad.