With two points from nine games, Sunrisers Hyderabad have a 0% chance of making it to the playoffs, predicts the Criclytics Qualification probability model. That projection not only makes them the side with the most worries ahead of the mega auction later this year but also the most dangerous side in terms of disturbing the dynamics of the established order this season.
With eight wins each, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals have pretty much confirmed their berths in the top two, but then there are Rajasthan Royals, still trying to put the pieces together to keep their qualification hopes alive. And if Sunrisers Hyderabad can manage to rise from the ashes to put a show on Monday night, it will spell all kinds of troubles for the Sanju Samson-led side, who for all their frailties know that they will not have a better chance to ensure a turnaround of fortunes that deserted them against Punjab Kings a couple of days ago.
Roy for Warner?
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, the worry lines run deeper. Not only have their premier top-order batters - David Warner and Kane Williamson - failed to muster anything worthwhile, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav continue to be underwhelming. Warner, in particular, is having a disastrous run from the beginning of the tournament and his average of 24.4 this year is his 2nd lowest in his IPL career.
Since the Dubai leg began, Williamson, on the other hand, is averaging just 13, leaving them in a concerning state. There have been talks around Hyderabad including Jason Roy to their stable tonight, replacing Warner who was included in the playing XI following Jonny Bairstow’s withdrawal. While Roy might be a better choice at the moment, we need to observe how much impact it can generate later, with the English opener only having one 50-plus score in his IPL career.
Jason Holder was never a T20 regular. Of course, he did well with Barbados Tridents and Sydney Sixers, but the first image that comes to our head hearing his name is him marshaling a white-clad side with authority and leading from the front with both bat and ball. But for Sunrisers, he has emerged as a messiah and alongside Rashid Khan, the only consistent performer this season.
Apart from taking 3 wickets each in two of the three games that he has played this season, the former Windies skipper has scored an unbeaten 47 against PBKS in the last game off just 29 balls. It had five sixes, three more than what Punjab’s batters managed in 20 overs and two more than all his teammates combinedly managed. With a minimum of 50 runs this season, no SRH batter has scored at a faster rate either, making him a strong contender. On his shoulders will lie a bigger responsibility on Monday as well, which will have a huge bearing on SRH’s fortunes.
Can Livingstone live upto the billing?
Liam Livingstone is one of the hottest properties in T20s at the moment, having taken the world by storm in the international home season and the Hundred soon after. However, in the IPL, he has barely been able to make it count and was dismissed in the first over itself against Delhi Capitals. In his entire IPL career, he has only scored 96 runs in 6 innings.
Livingstone’s strong suit as a batter is his striking ability against pacers as the predictable lengths allow him to premeditate his movement. He gets into the position early and executes his shots really well. Further, his slogging and big-hitting have a fixed arc and he targets those regions every time he looks to go big. This is a big reason why Livingstone’s off-side vs on-side show have extremely contrasting stats.
All these factors combine for his huge hits over long-on and the leg-side region. With Sanju Samson finally showing some consistency, Rajasthan Royals need Livingstone to revisit his range and force his way back in the IPL. The Royals will be better placed to increase their qualification probability if Livingstone is back amongst runs. With so much fragility in the middle order, it is possibly imperative too.