Sunrisers Hyderabad may have lost David Warner before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season started. There was an atmosphere of vulnerability losing a skipper, who brought a title and consistency in the ranks. Eight matches into the season, 12 points and top of the table. Credit to skipper Kane Williamson for getting the best out of SRH. The Orange army is marching ahead!
The victory against the Rajasthan Royals on Sunday was the side’s third in a row and once again the manner in which they defended their total, it was a pure moment of magic and class. Williamson has been a prime factor in all of this, hunting down oppositions with guile and precision. Runs have flown from Williamson’s bat and playing atop has done him wonders.
What bodes well for the Sunrisers is that the form of the captain has transpired into the side and his decision making with the resources at his disposal in key moments have struck the right chords. With the strength in the bowling, SRH is going the distance and one would hope once the batting clicks they could come to full party.
Let’s look at the factors that have propelled SRH to where they are and what’s in store for them.
Kane Williamson emulating Warner
Williamson should be lauded for all the work he has done for New Zealand in international cricket especially in the shortest format and he has brought the elements in his captaincy here in the IPL. The Kiwi Skipper was the obvious choice for SRH once Warner was banned for a season and the decision by the management has been a wise one.
Williamson had his task cut out as IPL 2018 started, especially after requiring to fill in the shoes of the Aussie, who gained enormous respect and success as SRH’s leader. In 45 matches, Warner had won 26, having a win percentage of 57.77. Williamson looks to have taken over the mantle and is handling the responsibility well.
What Warner achieved at SRH was tremendous given he was the leading run-scorer there in every season, besides winning the Orange Cap twice. Now when you look at Williamson, he has 322 runs in eight matches which is the second best this season. Can he finish as the highest run-getter?
The Orange Cap would then stay within the SRH camp.
No aggression, no problem!
It was though that Williamson could lack the aggression Warner possessed and that in turn would not benefit SRH. But it has not been anything on that note. Williamson may not be the aggressive type as Warner, but he has the character to rise up and get his team perform. That is what has been SRH’s mantra.
The 1-0 Test series win against England pumped him up, as he has so far shown his mettle in the IPL. With the team he has got, one is seeing SRH coming out all guns blazing this season.
Bowlers have kept their magic alive
Yes, the batsmen haven’t performed well so far, but the bowlers have shown how it is to be done. Rashid Khan has led the way with 10 wickets and 76 dot balls to his name. What Kane Williamson has done well is maintaining the sync amongst his bowlers.
Pacers Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi and Sandeep Sharma have all worked as a team despite the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake off late. The manner in which these bowlers have handled the pressure in crunch situations needs to be lauded.
The skipper’s decision making has been top notch and players have responded to his calls.
What next for SRH?
On top of the table and going smoothly, SRH have been very consistent. They are expected to carry on the momentum for the next games ahead and have a shot in qualifying for the playoffs. Batting needs to be worked upon and if that changes into something positive, then stopping SRH would be difficult.