File image: BCCI, iplt20.com
It is not too often in the IPL that sees four matches in a row as one-sided affair. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner defied the trend of choosing to bat first by the captains in this tournament so far when he elected by to bat first. However, the end result of a lop-sided contest was the same when Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) defeated SRH by a margin of 7 wickets in the 8th match of the IPL 2020.
Shubman Gill’s night
Of course, the target of 143 in 20 overs wasn’t a daunting one to start with but KKR were not in very comfortable situation at the beginning of the 7th over of their run chase as they lost three wickets for just 53 runs on the board. All along, however, opener Shubman Gill was unfazed. Two 6s, five 4s in a 62 ball (unbeaten 70 runs) stay may not have been breathtaking for attacking stroke play but it certainly was for staggering composure.
According to The CricViz Analyst Gill’s score of 70 is (currently) the highest score in IPL history to contain no misses or edges. This is as good a stat as it comes in a format which is so data-driven all the time.
“I didn't have to tell him a great deal to be honest, he's beautiful to watch on the eye, good bat swing, very languid style, magnificent to watch, he's good kid, very hungry to learn and I would love to bat with him once again. I think he deserves all the success,” said Eoin Morgan who scored 42 off 29 balls (3 fours and 2 sixes) and had a solid 92 run partnership with Gill for the 4th wicket. “I want Gill to enjoy his journey in cricket,” Dinesh Karthik tried to down play the growing hype around Gill in his post match presentation-chat.
“I think it was important for us to win. We bowled really and we had to back it up with a good performance,” Gill rightly credited team’s bowlers for setting up the win.
The Paise wasool performance by Cummins
What a turn-around it was for IPL 2020’s costliest buy of the season within a couple of days! The Australia pacer didn’t get the new ball against Mumbai Indians and had conceded 49 runs in just 3 overs (was hit for 3 fours and 4 sixes). However, this time against SRH he was at his menacing best with the new ball in his hand.
Cummins only conceded 11 in his first three overs against the formidable opening pair of SRH and suffocated their strokeplay. It was a class exhibition of a very intelligent fast bowling particularly the use of crease and wind stood out. He also got the danger-man Bairstow (5) cheaply. “Patty Cummins, as he does, (bowled) Test match line and length. There was a little bit of movement here and there,” said Warner after the match.
The Varun Chakravarthy wheel has taken a full circle
KKR used as many as seven bowlers but apart from Cummins, there was one bowler who was very impressive. The same bowler had a nightmarish experience in his very first match (for KXIP) in 2019 against his current team KKR! Varun Chakravarthy then had conceded 25 runs in his very first over. A year later, the same bowler conceded only 25 runs in his four overs and grabbed the prized wicket of Warner!
Who to blame for SRH
The former coach of SRH gave a distinct look to Warner’s side by emphasizing the importance of having more match winning bowlers than batsmen in the playing XI. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan made SRH attack a lethal combination with their guile and control with the dual attack of pace and spin in the powerplays as well death overs. While Bhuvi has been wicket-less for back to back matches, Khan managed just a solitary wicket of Dinesh Karthik when his team expected an inspirational performance like the past.
Similarly, the very consistent and attacking opening pair of Warner and Bairstow didn’t deliver too on Saturday. Strangely, not only the openers were subdued but the lack of intent from middle-order was equally baffling. “An extra 30 or 40 runs would have been great. We have to try and go harder at the top,” captain Warner admitted the flawed approach later which cost them the match.
Chennai Super Kings have also lost two matches like SRH in the first week of the tournament but Warner’s side is the only one without a point in the league table.
(Vimal Kumar is a senior sports journalist who has covered multiple cricket world cups and Rio Olympics in the last two decades. Vimal is also the author of Sachin: Cricketer Of The Century and The Cricket Fanatic’s Essential Guide.)Follow Moneycontrol’s full coverage of IPL 2020 here