Sunrisers Hyderabad went into the main tournament on a high, having qualified with a couple of convincing wins. Considering the talent they possessed in their line up, they would be exceedingly disappointed to not have made it to the last four of the Champions League T20. Of course, they would consider themselves unlucky since they did not get a chance to play their last league game, which was washed out due to incessant rain. But, Sunrisers had their destiny in their own hands. Two losses in three games is what cost them a place in the last four.
Sunrisers began their series on a high, defeating Trinidad & Tobago in a close encounter. Since then though, their performance only went downwards. They lost to Chennai Super Kings in a high-scoring game and, even against Titans, they were poor in most departments of their game. Even if they had gotten the better of Brisbane Heat in the match that was never played due to heavy downpour, their chances of making it to the final four were slim. In that sense, their two losses against Chennai and Titans cost them a place in the semi-finals.
One of the key reasons why Sunrisers couldn’t rise to the occasion was because their big-name players faltered when the team needed them to fire. Shikhar Dhawan looked fluent in all three games, but ended up with scores of 23, 48 and 37. The scores aren’t bad in the context of T20s, but considering the fact that Dhawan was the team’s best batsman, Sunrisers for sure needed more out of him. At the same time, Dhawan could have done with better support from the rest. Parthiv Patel, the other opener, had scores similar to Dhawan – 17, 37 and 26. Just like the case with Dhawan, Sunrisers would have wanted him to carry on.
Arguably, the biggest reason why Sunrisers could not progress further was because their talented all-rounder Thisara Perera could not repeat his match-winning antics from the first game against Trinidad & Tobago. On the contrary, he was among the worst performers for the team, a liability Sunrisers just could not afford. Perera took 2 for 26 and slapped an unbeaten 57 from 32 balls in Sunrisers’ impressive win over T & T. But, in the game against Chennai he was thrashed for 60 in three overs and scored only 12. He was a failure with the bat and ball against Titans as well.
Among the players who were highly disappointed during the series included key names like JP Duminy and Hanuma Vihari. Duminy, who batted at the crucial number three spot, made scores of 17,0 and 17 while Vihari’s numbers were 13, 5 not out and 6. But for a couple of good individual performances, Sunrisers’ bowling was ineffective for most part of the series. In fact, if there has to be a particular performance which can be earmarked as the one that had a major role in them being ousted, it was the 202 they conceded against Chennai. With a bit more restraint they could have been in a better position.
--By A Cricket Analyst