Sunrisers Hyderabad 2013 review May 23, 2013

Spirited Sunrisers exceed expectations

Sunrisers began this tournament as one of the underdogs, but fought impressively to reach as far as the Eliminator

Where they finished
Sunrisers Hyderabad exceeded expectations in this IPL, and had the support of many who backed a side making its debut, having been bought over by a new owner after the previous franchise was terminated last year. Their run ended in a closely-fought Eliminator, and while they'll be disappointed at not having progressed to the second Qualifier, they went farther than most would have thought possible with the resources they had at their disposal. And their success came at the expense of Royal Challengers Bangalore, a popular franchise with big stars and flamboyant owners.

What went right
Sunrisers' biggest strength was a formidable bowling attack, though only Dale Steyn appeared a serious threat on paper at the time the tournament began. He lived up to his reputation, but was supported ably by the rest, and that combined effort enabled Sunrisers to compensate for the relative weakness in their batting.

Ishant Sharma was largely consistent, Darren Sammy had his good days, and the success of the leg-spin combination of Amit Mishra and Karan Sharma stood out. So effective did they prove that a score of 130, especially on a slowish track, seemed secure. Home advantage has been a big feature of this IPL season, and Sunrisers were hard to beat in Hyderabad, winning seven out of their eight matches there, one of them in the Super Over.

What went wrong
The bowling unit had its occasional off days, but the batting was Sunrisers' Achilles heel. Shikhar Dhawan was recovering from a hand injury at the start of the tournament and missed three weeks of his team's campaign. His return was a boost for the side, at the top of the order, but the overall batting blew hot and cold through the tournament. Sunrisers appeared to rely too much on their bowling to defend targets, and though they put up a spirited fight - even in the Eliminator while defending 132 - the batting depth of the opposing team at times won out.

It didn't help Sunrisers that the going was slow in the first 10 overs, with occasional periods of stagnation when the top and middle order struggled to push on, leaving the likes of Cameron White and Thisara Perera to surge at the death and take them to a par score. Among all teams in this IPL, Sunrisers were the slowest in the first 10 overs, going at 5.85 an over. That climbed to 8.87 in the final five overs, which was the still fifth among all teams.

Best player
Without a doubt, Dale Steyn. He was a regular wicket-taker and finished as the second-most economical bowler (min. 20 overs) this IPL, going at 5.66 an over, but what stood out was his intensity and commitment on the field. It seemed each time he came on to bowl, he was bowling a fresh spell. He bowled with pace and regularly ruffled the batsmen with jaffers that nipped away to beat the edge, or were banged in short.

He was the most energetic on the field when brought on to bowl, trying desperately to save the single when the ball was knocked around, and celebrated with the kind of excitement we're accustomed to seeing in Tests. He was Sunrisers' go-to man in times of a crisis, a responsibility he shouldered well, and was easily the most feared and respected by the opposition.

Poor performer
Kumar Sangakkara was one of four overseas captains this season who had to relinquish his place in the side as a result of poor form. His tournament began on a steady note, as he scored 15 against Pune Warriors, but he didn't push on. He had to sit out after five games, with Cameron White taking over, but did get a chance to return, unlike Ricky Ponting of Mumbai Indians. However, his performances turned out to be worse, with scores of 4, 21, 8, and 3, before he had to sit out again. A player who has expertly anchored innings in his international career, Sangakkara couldn't fulfil that role for Sunrisers this season, and wasn't part of the playing XI for half the team's campaign.

Surprise package
The lack of spin options in India has been a worry for a while, and it remains to be seen if Karan Sharma, a legspinner, will allay some of those concerns. For Sunrisers, he was the find of the season, working very well in tandem with senior partner Amit Mishra. He had the variations, imparted considerable turn on the ball, and proved quite economical at 6.60. He was brought on mostly between overs 7 and 14, and picked up nine wickets in that period. This, after an impressive three games for Railways in the Ranji Trophy in which he picked up 21 wickets at 19.04.

Recommended for retention
Dale Steyn
Shikhar Dhawan

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    How could you miss out Thissara Perera. He has done well ,he has contributed well enough for SRH to reach this far.

  • Ian on May 25, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    The worst mistake that Sunrisers could make would be to get rid of Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White simply on account of a poor (not quite so poor in the case of White) season this year. With some good performers with the ball making themselves known over the course of the season, it is vital that SRH hold onto both of these experienced campaigners, not only for their ability to turn a game around with the bat, but also because their combined knowledge and leadership is an essential support to a strong bowling attack. In fact, all four of Hyderabad's main foreign players (Sanga, White, Steyn, Sammy) should be retained. Steyn and Sammy both dominated at some point with the ball, and Sammy is another experienced leader who offers something of great value to the SRH think tank. As a SRH supporter, I hope that the squad is kept mostly intact for the next season.

  • Theekshana on May 25, 2013, 11:51 GMT

    how come u not mentioning of perera when talking abt bowlers ... he may be not economical but he got 19 wickets as well... and u forgot his match winning contributions with the bat.. so does sammy...

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    A lot of people asking for the IPL to be banned. IPL is an entity, not a person. Satyam owner Ramalinga Raju did fraud and was rightfully arrested and jailed. But Satyam Industries wasn't banned. The corruption in IPL is because of a few individuals and it is not correct to ask for banning a great venue for new young talent in India to showcase their talent and get selected for the National team. As far as my sense of reasoning goes, IPL is innocent. Some individuals who are running it however are not very innnocent.

  • Yohan on May 25, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    Most of the guys are predicting on retaining players .but will IPL be the same glamorous event next year after all fixing developments . we never know . some cricket board may pullout players from it despite big cash considering games status . Viewership will cut down drastically . So it probably may not be the same event anymore .

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 23:53 GMT

    SRH need to follow the strategy of CSK, who were forced to release all players other than the max. 4, who bought most of them back. This strategy will work the best. Choose the best 4 and then go after others who could not be retained. This will also save money as all players are not worth $2 million.

    Other teams will not release their best players, and the rich teams like MI will just buy them so that others do not possess them. Steyn and Dhawan must be retained and must not be released otherwise they will be stolen like Rohit Sharma was stolen, and secret inside deals like the one that happened in case of Jadeja will keep those out of reach.

    SRH needs an opener, an offspinner, and a couple of middle order batsmen. Sanga and White should go. Perera and Sammy should stay. Bhuvanesh Kumar can replace Ishant. Middle order can use Steven Smith and Aaron Finch. DeCock was bought cheap and has talent and may become better by next year.

  • Stefan on May 24, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    It's funny that so many people are calling for SRH to retain Cameron White and Thisara Perera, and don't spare a thought for Darren Sammy who outperformed them both. Especially White, who was horrid.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    why you guys forgot Thisera Perera's all round performance? he got 16 wickets and 230+ runs in his debut ipl.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 15:20 GMT

    2014 IPL someone else will get praised.

  • Dummy4 on May 24, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Good team effort from SRH......