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From stability to turbulence: SRH trigger their own downfall

Last updated on 07 Aug 2023 | 01:06 PM
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From stability to turbulence: SRH trigger their own downfall

At one point, Sunrisers Hyderabad were known to be the franchise of stability, but gone are the times

Since the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) final, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been the flagbearer of making controversial calls. It all started when the 2016 IPL champions decided to release their legendary skipper, David Warner, before appointing Kane Williamson as the future of their project. 

It didn’t end there, Rashid Khan, who was the franchise’s bowling spearhead too, left the franchise over rumours of a rift. The then-head coach Brian Lara came out defending the move, saying that the franchise had the right combination, and Rashid wasn’t someone that was in their plans. 

"I have great respect for Rashid Khan but I believe we have the right combination. Rashid Khan was someone who opposition teams decided to defend against, he was not much of a wicket-taker," Lara said earlier in the year. 

Lara’s stint didn’t last too long, either. The Caribbean great was viewed as someone who would head the franchise’s future project, but that project ended abruptly when the 54-year-old was sacked from his post on August 7 (Monday), with Daniel Vettori replacing him as the head coach. 

If all of this is a surprise for you, welcome to the world of puzzling decisions taken by, well and truly, SRH. We list a few to refresh your memory. 

The mess surrounding David Warner’s exit

“At the end of the day, whatever happens, cop it, cop it on the chin. If you want to have those conversations, just have them. It’s not hard. Don’t shy away from them. I am not going to bite. I am going to sit here and accept that for what it is because you are not picking me in the team," Warner said on the chat show Backstage with Boria after his unceremonious exit from SRH. 

“It was the pain that I knew was going to hit the fans. They are what makes a franchise. They grow your brand. The greatest teams in the world have icon players. I have been there for a long time. Kane Williamson has been there for a long time, so has Bhuvneshwar. You build a brand and you move forward with that brand.”

Back in 2014, SRH got lucky when the then-Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals now) didn’t want to use their RTM (Right-to-Match) card for the left-hander. The rest was history, with the left-hander ending up as the Orange Cap winner in 2017 and 2019 while scoring 848 runs in the 2016 season, where they ended up winning the title. 

His unceremonious exit said it all about the franchise. Even though Warner’s middling numbers played a significant role, the way the franchise dealt with the mess was definitely strike one. 

Katich’s resignation sheds light on SRH’s auction strategy

After being the assistant coach of Hyderabad for barely two months, Simon Katich resigned from his role. Katich’s appointment was part of the revamp, which included an elevated role for former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody. Whilst officially, the reason was “uncomfortable staying inside the IPL bubble and away from his family for such a long period”, media reports suggested otherwise. 

Australia’s media organisation, “Australian”, reported that "Katich disagreed with the way the team was being managed and felt pre-auction plans were disregarded". At the Auction, SRH splurged huge cash on Nicholas Pooran (INR 10.75 crore) and Washington Sundar (INR 8.75 crore) and also reserved a large sum for Romario Shepherd (INR 7.75 crore). 

Lack of continuity with big names

In the span of three years, SRH moved on from some of the big names pretty quickly. Ahead of the 2022 IPL Mega Auction, the franchise moved on from one of the biggest T20 stars, Rashid. While several reports suggested that the leg-spinner had concerns over an economic dispute, Lara cleared the air, stating that the spinner wasn’t a pre-requisite for the team, and the franchise later struggled without a quality spinner. 

The next year, the franchise ended ties with Kane Williamson, who was, until that point, the face of the franchise. Whilst there were talks of Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the setup, they once again went in the direction of Aiden Markram as a captain, a move that ended with them finishing tenth in IPL 2023. 

Just a year after the franchise shelled INR 10.75 crore for Pooran, the left-hander was let go, leaving a big void in the middle-order. It has been a theme for the Sunrisers, who haven’t quite stuck with their players. Remember Jonny Bairstow

Brian Lara gets a sack after just one year

After Moody’s six-year stint ended, SRH were nothing short of a franchise with some panic moves. In the 2020-21 season, there was Trevor Bayliss, who was the head coach of the team, and then there was a one-year return for Moody in 2022. When Lara was appointed as the head coach for the 2023 season, it looked like the musical chair would finally come to an end. 

Lara was appointed to start a new era for the franchise, with him also picking up Markram as the captain for the future. But a year into his coaching stint, the franchise has already parted ways with the Caribbean legend.

Appointing Lara, who had no experience as a head coach in itself, was baffling but then sacking him just a year later only makes things worse. To top it all off, the franchise have now signed Vettori as their coach, with the Kiwi legend not leaving the best impression during his time at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

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