IPL 2021 | RR vs SRH: Hits & Flops as Sunrisers rise from slumber to spoil Royals' party

Mayank Kumar

Mayank Kumar

Author| Sep 27, 7:04 PM

Image: Twitter
Image: Twitter

The contest between the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Rajasthan Royals had a completely different meaning for both sides. For the orange army, it was one attempt to salvage some pride after being positioned at the bottom of the table forever, while for the men in pink this game could have opened the door for the path upwards on the points table.

Turned out, the Sunrisers proved to be a spoiler for the Royals who faced a heavy defeat and made life difficult for themselves in the IPL 2021.

Here, we’ll analyse the best and worst of the performance of the night that turned the game in the favour of the Sunrisers and snatched the game away from the Royals.

Hits

Kane Williamson

It must be very tough for the captain of a sinking ship to be calm and simplistic about his own process and routine, but if the name of the captain is Kane Williamson, all those qualities are given, as a matter of fact.

If there are some qualities that he has established on his CV as an international cricketer over a decade, his ability to pick moments he wants to conquer and his ability to lift the tempo without breaking into any sweat are the two prominent ones.

All of those qualities were on full-on display against the Royals as he batted with absolute calm and authority along with precision-guided strokes to take the Sunrisers home for the first time in the sixth game.

The task of cutting the Royals’ score to size was already done by Jason Roy and Williamson needed to realise his stay at the crease was more essential for Sunrisers than his aggression and inevitably he chose his moments to inflict body blow to the opposition.

He walked out to bat to replace Wriddhiman Saha who fell after giving a brilliant start with Roy and hit the winning runs. There was no fuss in his batting and the bowlers were milked into the gaps for runs to make the Royals look like a deflated unit who appeared to be only physically in the game.

Williamson has taken over from David Warner and it is likely that he will have to oversee and script the resurface of the brand Sunrisers after two consecutive abysmal seasons and hence his stamp on the brand of cricket team plays was visible on the Sunriser’s approach.

Jason Roy

Since his emergence on the international stage for England, Jason Roy’s USP has been his ability to take the attack to the opposition camp from the word go, and the Sunrisers were in desperate need of all those qualities at the top of the order with David Warner going through a tumultuous phase in his career.

However, he was overshadowed by Saha at the start of the innings before Mustafizur Rahman offered free run-scoring opportunities and he did not need a second invitation to capitalise and send the run-scoring soaring.

A couple of boundaries against Mustafizur liberated him and an off-colour Chris Morris was too friendly with the full toss and half volleys and what looked like another sluggish innings by Sunriers batsmen was transformed into swashbuckling in a matter of two overs.

Saha left him at the stroke of the end of the powerplay but he was snot finished and reached a deserving half-century that set up the platform for a convincing win for the Sunrisers.

Sanju Samson

Throughout the entire length of his career, Sanju Samson has never been a crowd pleaser except on the day when all is working for him. More often than not he frustrates his fans than giving them reasons to celebrate and a lot of those were contributed to his style of batting.

He never used to care about losing his wicket in the process of maximising his potential of striking the ball but the method was too risky and he was getting more failures than success.

He vehemently rejected the idea of spending time at the crease in order to bring consistency saying it would be a “selfish” thought process. But, it has started to appear that he has finally accepted the mode of preservation over attacking to ensure more runs from the bat.

In the ongoing edition of the league, Samson has scored 433 runs from 10 games at a stupendous average of 54.12 runs per innings, which is as much as 20 percentage points higher than his previous best of 34.20 in the 2019 edition.

For all the talks around his inconsistency, he has quietly modelled his way of batting and he showcased all of that against the Sunrisers.

He took as many as six balls to get off the mark and the first nine balls produced only six runs including a four that came off an invitational short and wide ball by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

He was quite prepared to spend time at the other end while Yashasvi Jaiswal was going great guns from the other side of the pitch. However, he was not missing out on loose deliveries and hence his method can’t be deemed “defensive” or “negative”.

Till the ninth over when Jaiswal got out, Samson was batting at a run a ball 25 and although he increased his tempo over the next 15 balls, his real shot of intent resembling his stylish best came in the 15th over when he danced down the wicket off Rashid Khan and deposited him over the long-off fence.

Samson did not look back from that point and punished an indisciplined Siddarth Kaul for 20-run over in the 16th over. The ease at which he smashed him through the corners of the ground ratified his decision of preserving his wicket at the start.

With the first run coming off the sixth ball and just 25 runs off the first 25 balls, Samson roared to a 56-ball 82 establishing the change in his batting style. It could well be argued if his aggression would have been more worthy for the Royals as they could have gone past the par score but Samson is now showing a willingness to change his batting and only time will tell how much do does it affect his personal and team’s overall performance.

Flops

Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma has been an uncanny bowler in his IPL career and his exploits in the powerplay have been exemplary over the years. He was the underrated pillar of the Sunrisers’ success over the years but it seems he too has gone past his use-by date in terms of executing similar performances.

He has taken a lot of wickets with the new ball but on the night against the Royals, he allowed Jaiswal to open his arms and the men in pink were up and running with 11 runs on the board in the first over itself.

To his credit, the second boundary of the first over was a streaky shot but the right-arm offered him another couple of freebies in his next over and his first two overs accounted for a whopping 22 runs.

He redeemed himself just a bit by picking the wicket of Jaiswal but not before he had given the Royals a perfect platform at the top of the order.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris is the most expansive player in the history of the IPL and like many costly players in the past, he too has been too expensive per wicket and runs scored compared to the load on the team’s purse.

He was dropped from the last game after having a forgettable night against the Punjab Kings where he was taken to the cleaners for 47 runs in his four overs, but the Royals need his all-around ability and hence adopted hope on him as a strategy against the Sunrisers.

Both the hope and Morris was not ready to please Samson and the all-rounder had another harrowing night against the Kane Williamson side.

He was tasked to stop Jason Roy’s juggernaut as big players are generally assigned the task of executing grand tasks but he ended up offering freebies to the right-hander and he took the game away from the men in pink.

All other four teams such as the RCB, KKR, MI and PBKS would have been very happy with the Sunrisers registering a much-awaited game as it complicate the path of qualification for the Royals.

For the Sunrisers, the win meant a lot as it highlighted their willingness to accept that the glorious past will no longer work for them anymore as the trio of David Warner, Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey were shown the door for young players such as Priam Garg and Abdul Samad.

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