IPL 2019: Momentum against SRH but Manish Pandey's form a silver lining

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Resurgent Manish Pandey. Image - IPL/Twitter.

Ahead of the all-important 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) playoff clashes, we look at how Sunrisers Hyderabad are shaping up.

SUNRISERS HYDERABAD

League position – 4

Matches – 14

Wins – 6

Losses – 8

STRENGTH

While they might not be the most prolific of wicket-takers, Sunrisers’ bowling attack has been one of the most economical in the tournament. Between them, India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan have bowled 306 dot balls over the course of the campaign which is a staggering number.

While Rashid and his Afghanistan counterpart Mohammad Nabi have maintained an economy-rate of around 6.50, Bhuvneshwar has gone at 7.61. The pacers such as Khaleel Ahmed and Sandeep Sharma have also conceded less than nine runs an over which is decent and this in turn has helped SRH tie down the rate of scoring with the ball.

Rashid Khan remains miserly as ever. Image - BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

Rashid Khan remains miserly as ever. Image – BCCI/SPORTSZPICS.

WEAKNESS

It is a completely different story with the bat for Hyderabad with David Warner and Jonny Bairstow having bid goodbyes to the IPL. Together, the two openers contributed 1,137 runs over the course of the campaign with Warner alone chipping in with 692 runs.

With the duo no longer available for the business-end of the tournament, SRH have their work cut out in the batting department. Skipper Kane Williamson has struggled big time with the bat this year with just 128 runs to show from eight innings and as such, there are big question marks surrounding the side’s batting prowess heading into the playoffs.

It is not just about replacing Warner and Bairstow’s runs for SRH but also their explosiveness given that both batsmen maintained a strike-rate of over 140.

OPPORTUNITY

One silver lining for SRH with the bat has been the resurgence of Manish Pandey ever since he was promoted to No3 in the batting order. The right-hander has been in excellent form since his promotion with three half-centuries in his five most recent outings.

While Pandey has the opportunity to continue his rich vein of form, there is also a chance for New Zealand opening stalwart Martin Guptill to make a big impact in the absence of Warner and Bairstow.

THREAT

Momentum. After flying high for much of their campaign, the wheels have started coming off for SRH at the worst time possible. Williamson’s men head into the playoff battle on the back of four defeats in five games which is not a good sign. Momentum is key in the business-end of the tournament and currently, SRH are up against it.

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