IPL 2016 month-end review: SRH and RCB

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  • Six teams’ first month’s performances have been reviewed so far and we arrive at the last two, representing the southern part of India – Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    Sunrisers Hyderabad

    Young Mustafizur has been a revelation for SRH

    Young Mustafizur has been a revelation for SRH

    The Orange Army, courtesy lusty blows from captain David Warner, sit pretty on fourth spot with 8 points in 7 games, equivalent to KKR, but with an inferior net run rate.

    Having the best bowling line-up of the tournament has its perks and after the injury to Yuvraj Singh, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been banking largely on Warner to get them across the line.

    Highs – Big hitter David Warner sits on top of the Orange Cap list with 386 runs including two scores in excess of 90. Leading from the front, the Australian, with a strike rate of 168.55 has been a nightmare for the bowlers.

    Warner’s form has been enabling the Sunrisers to post competitive totals on the board, which have been impressively defended by the bowlers. In Ashish Nehra, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mustafizur Rahman, the pace attack wears a menacing look.

    Bhuvaneshwar Kumar with 10 wickets and Mustafizur Rahman with 8 wickets and an economy of just 6.54 have been the go to players for the franchise.

    A special word in for the Bangladeshi, who has troubled the batsman with his accurate cutters. His figures of 2/9 in 4 overs against Kings XI and his subsequent statement that no batsman seemed to bother him portrayed the confidence contained within the 20 year old.

    Disappointments – The bad patch of Shikhar Dhawan and the inability of Eoin Morgan to be among the runs can prove to be a major disadvantage whenever Warner fails to be among the runs.

    Dhawan has remained inconsistent while Morgan made way for Kane Williamson in the match against RCB after having managed to notch up only one 50 in 5 innings.

    Expectations – An untested middle order comprising Indian domestic players and the over dependence on Warner can prove to be a liability as the tournament progress.

    Meanwhile, the bowling attack and the form that they are in remains a captain’s dream. Or may I say that this kind of a bowling attack remains a far-fetched dream for Virat Kohli.

    Remaining matches – (7)

    06 May – SRH vs GL
    08 May – MI vs SRH
    10 May – RPS vs SRH
    12 May – SRH vs DD
    15 May – KXIP vs SRH
    20 May – DD vs SRH
    22 May – KKR vs SRH

    Royal Challengers Bangalore

    Bowling has been a worry for RCB

    Bowling has been a worry for RCB

    Virat Kohli. Chris Gayle. AB de Villiers. Shane Watson. The best in the business, under one team. RCB, boasting of an incredible batting line-up, have been constantly putting up runs in excess of 160 on the board. But surprisingly, they rank a lowly seventh out of 8 teams in the competition, winning just 2 games out of 6.

    Contrary to their batting prowess, the bowling has refused to put the opposition under any kind of pressure and the injury to Mitchell Starc and Samuel Badree seems to be haunting the RCB.

    Highs – Continuing his purple patch into the IPL as well, Virat Kohli has been churning out match changing innings at will. The maverick has already scored 381 runs in 6 innings, including his first T20 hundred, a knock of 100* against Gujarat, which painstakingly came in a losing cause. His captaincy and his ability to hold himself responsible for the losses have earned him enough praise.

    Kohli, along with AB de Villiers, have been the biggest (and dare I say the only) positives for RCB this season. The South African, with 316 runs at a strike rate of 166.32, along with useful contributions from Sarfaraz Khan and KL Rahul, has enabled the team to post challenging totals in excess of 170 on all 6 occasions.

    Disappointments – The strong batting complements an equally weak bowling attack. Sans Shane Watson, the rest of the bowlers have failed to make any impact of sorts. Unable to defend targets like 191, 170 and 181 on a regular basis portrays the problems RCB are dealing with. Despite having Allan Donald in the dressing room, the bowlers have been lacking the penetrative sting that is required at this level.

    The constant tinkering of the squad, with as many as six changes after the loss to Delhi Daredevils, highlights the panic that surrounds the dressing room. The reluctance to open with Watson in the absence of Gayle raises eyebrows as well.

    Expectations – One wants the team to do well. It hurts when a squad comprising of such talent keeps ending up on the wrong side of the result. With 4 points in 6 games, they need to win at least 6 of their remaining 8 games to have hopes of qualifying for the next stage. Wishful thinking, one might say.

    Remaining matches – (7)

    07 May – RCB vs RPS
    09 May – KXIP vs RCB
    11 May – RCB vs MI
    14 May – RCB vs GL
    16 May – KKR vs RCB
    18 May – RCB vs KXIP
    22 May – DD vs RCB

    All stats are updated till 1st May 2016