Sunrisers Hyderabad batting approach was puzzling: Gavaskar

03:54 PM May 22, 2024 | PTI |

Ahmedabad: Legendary Sunil Gavaskar has questioned the “puzzling” batting approach of Sunrisers Hyderabad during the powerplay in the first IPL Qualifier, suggesting their reckless strategy may have cost them the match against Kolkata Knight Riders.


Having cleaned up his fellow Australian Travis Head with a peach of a delivery with his second ball, Mitchell Starc blew away the SRH top-order in his opening spell of 3-0-22-3.

SRH lost four wickets inside the powerplay to be dismissed for a paltry 159, a target KKR shot down in 13.4 overs to storm into the Sunday’s summit clash in Chennai.

“It was a terrific performance, no question. Such an impressive display with both the bat and the ball. They took four wickets in the power play, and that’s where the Sunrisers were pushed onto the back foot, really on the ropes. They couldn’t recover from that,” the former Indian captain told Star Sports Cricket Live.

“There was a partnership of sorts, but to me, the approach of the SRH batters in those first six overs was puzzling.”
With Vaibhav Arora dismissing the in-form Abhishek Sharma in the next over, SRH’s explosive opening pair were out for 13 runs.


Gavaskar said after losing two key wickets, SRH’s batters should have played more cautiously. Instead, they continued to play aggressively, which led to further losses and ultimately cost them the match.

“When you’ve lost two wickets and the two who have been scoring runs for you, a certain amount of caution is required. Sure, don’t miss out on scoring opportunities, but don’t look to throw your bat at everything. That’s what we saw.

“They lost those four wickets, and losing four top batters means you can’t really expect numbers five, six, seven, eight, and nine to get you to 200. So, that is where they may have lost it. But full credit to Kolkata for the way they attacked and took advantage of that pitch as well,” Gavaskar said.

The former India opener was all praise for Venkatesh Iyer and emphasised his value as a versatile player, a top left-handed batter and a capable medium-pace bowler, even if he hasn’t bowled much recently.

Venkatesh struck a 28-ball 51 not out in an unbroken partnership with his skipper Shreyas Iyer (58 not out; 24b) to seal their eight-wicket win with 38 balls to spare.

“He’s been a very good player for such a long time. His first season, a couple of seasons ago, was outstanding. Then, as it happens to everybody, the second season is harder because opponents have a better idea of how to bowl to you,” Gavaskar said.

“But Venkatesh is the kind of cricketer you want in your team. He’s a top batter, a left-handed batter, and he can bowl medium pace. We haven’t seen him bowl much recently, but he’s a very good medium-paced bowler. He might not always pick up wickets, but he can bowl those few overs that can make a significant difference,” he added.


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