Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Darren Sammy’s appointment as captain could have implications on Sunrisers Hyderabad’s playoff hopes

Darren Sammy led West Indies to the World T20 title in 2012 © IANS
Darren Sammy led West Indies to the World T20 title in 2012 © IANS

Sunrisers Hyderabad handed the leadership to Darren Sammy as the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 approaches the business end. Nishad Pai Vaidya assesses the move by Hyderabad.

There was a surprise in store for those who tuned into the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 game between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The team’s mentor VVS Laxman, announced half an hour before the game that Darren Sammy had replaced Shikhar Dhawan as the captain of Hyderabad. With their progress hanging in the balance, Hyderabad took the call of appointing the more experienced leader to take them through, but was it the right call?

On his captaincy debut in the IPL, Sammy did a decent job. He certainly looked more proactive than Dhawan, at times a bit too much though. He was around his bowlers almost all the time and set fields quite intelligently. It was only that his batsmen had not given him enough runs on the board that he couldn’t defend it. But, Hyderabad fought and a lot could be attributed to the way Sammy led the side. In comparison, Dhawan looked passive from a distance and the seniors in the side were around to help him. Darren Sammy was almost running his own show.

While the decision may be good on a leadership front, was it right tactically? Sammy has had a poor IPL 2014 and his struggles compounded during his painful 16-ball seven against Kolkata. With the ball too, he hasn’t done much. Hyderabad don’t look the formidable bowling side they looked last year. But Sammy is in as the all-rounder, and made it through because the gamble with Moises Henriques did not work.

But changing captains at a crucial stage can work at times for a side. Yes, the players may have to get used to a new style of leadership, but it may also infuse some energy. In 2009, Kevin Pietersen left for England mid-way through the tournament. Anil Kumble led admirably in his place and took the team to the final of the tournament. In 2013, Ricky Ponting, while a fine captain, had to make way for another foreigner as Rohit Sharma took over. And, the rest is history. Hyderabad too have had their own share of captaincy woes. Last season, Kumar Sangakkara was struggling and that allowed Cameron White to take over, who took them to the playoffs.

Appointing an overseas captain is a risk as there are only four slots available for the foreigner. You need four good, in form players there. The international players are usually the trump cards and if they fail, it only adds to the team’s difficulties. When compared to that, an Indian captain is a safe bet as they have seven slots to fill. But, ultimately, he has to lead the side and that is why Hyderabad have brought in Sammy. They need a leader who will lift the side and make those proactive calls in the middle.

It is time for Sammy to rise to the occasion as a player as well. It is getting increasingly tougher for then to stay alive in the tournament and all they can do is win their remaining games and hope for a miracle. But Sammy’s leadership may just set the tone and thinking for the next season. Thus, the upcoming games are crucial for Hyderabad in more ways than one.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

Afghanistan tour of UAE, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Dubai


Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)


Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos


Phil Hughes passes away: Video tribute

Live Cricket Score, Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 4th ODI at Dhaka: Shakib picks up two quick wickets

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 2: Kane Williamson brings up 14th Test fifty; NZ 201/1

Phillip Hughes 7th-youngest Test cricketer to die

Phillip Hughes: A brief look at the career of one of Australia’s most promising talents

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Australia England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 Phil Hughes Phil Hughes Death Phil Hughes head injury Phillip Hughes

Anil Kumble’s company launches talent hunt for spinners in Karnataka

Kings XI Punjab announces collaboration with AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Brendon McCullum ton guides NZ to 164/1 at tea

Phillip Hughes’ death: Andy Murray expresses sorrow

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Brendon McCullum scores 2nd fastest fifty by NZ batsman

Sean Abbott will find the road ahead a living nightmare

Phillip Hughes’ death: What happens to India vs Australia Test series?

Phillip Hughes 63 not out, forever

Henry Blofeld: Nephew of an England captain?

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan top-order prevails once again

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Pukaar’s Rannvijay Singh will face new challenges with ‘Zen Life’

Yami Gautam Birthday: The Vicky Donor girl turns 26 (In Pics)

6 medical miracles that will blow your mind

OPEC daily basket price closes over three US dollars lower

Badlapur new poster: Varun Dhawan stuns us with his deadly rugged avatar – view pic!

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

6 must-have aromatherapy oils for your medicine cabinet

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here