Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Irfan Pathan can bring stability to Sunrisers Hyderabad

Irfan Pathan proved a valuable player for the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2013 © IANS
Irfan Pathan proved a valuable player for the Delhi Daredevils in IPL 2013 © IANS

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) began their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 campaign with a loss against Rajasthan Royals. It was a low-scoring match but they made a good effort to push it till the last over. Hyderabad have a good mix of players but did not utilize the all-round abilities of Irfan Pathan. Shrikant Shankar believes the forgotten man of Indian cricket should be playing in the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI.

Irfan Pathan is a quality player. Everyone knows about his entry into the international game and how he was the next big thing in Indian cricket. A lot has happened since then. He has made numerous comebacks and been dropped several times. But one does not lose their talent. Irfan may not be at his top level, but he still is a good player. He is a genuine new-ball bowler and a very good lower-order batsman. He is not exceptional in the field, but reliable.

In a team like Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Irfan’s abilities could be tested in a good way. He was not picke to play in Hyderabad’s first match of IPL 7 against Rajasthan Royals (RR). While the Sunrisers have some explosive batsmen like Aaron Finch, David Warner, captain Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy, they only managed 133 for six.

Their bowlers did well but could not stop Rajasthan from winning the match in the last over by four wickets. Hyderabad have the world’s best bowler in Dale Steyn and the effective Amit Mishra. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma made up the strike-bowling attack against Rajasthan. But on most occasions, defending a low score in T20 cricket is difficult. Hyderabad’s lower-order lost their way in the first match and that is where Irfan can help the team.

Bowling wise, Sunrisers were good. But in Irfan they get a genuine bowling all-rounder, not someone who can swing his bat occasionally and get the odd runs. Irfan, like others, can get out first ball. But this is about the team and the top-order having the belief that even if they fail, there are good batsmen down the order to score some runs. Belief is something that is paramount in all walks of life and cricket is no different. One paper, Sunrisers have a strong unit. They are actually spoilt for choices.

If there is any swing available, then he is as good as any Indian bowler to make full use of those conditions. Bhuvneshwar is another who swings the ball, but he genuinely lacks pace. Ishant is a hit-n-miss. Steyn cannot be expected to shoulder the burden of the pace attack always. Besides, this tournament is supposed to be designed to test Indian players. Irfan is also a reliable fielder in the deep without being spectacular. He is someone who can make that difference and deserves to get a chance in the XI. Last year nobody expected Hyderabad to finish in the top four with the team they had. This year, they have a good chance to repeat that performance again with a better squad. Maybe the forgotten man of Indian cricket is the key for them to achieve their targets.

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

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Birmingham

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Sep 2, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 61 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

No result

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Photos

Aaron Finch's record 156 vs England in T20I

Videos

Alastair Cook looks ahead to 3rd ODI at Nottingham

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan, Live Cricket Score 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Pakistan are in serious trouble

England, take ODIs seriously if you want to win

Hiralal Gaekwad: the southpaw who lost out to Vinoo Mankad

Lord Ganesha XI: Eleven cricketers who were named after the elephant God

Suresh Raina’s new avatar on India’s tour of England 2014

Australia England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014 Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Umar Akmal dismissed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Misbah-ul-Haq run out by Tillakaratne Dilshan

England set to take on India in 3rd ODI amid heavy criticism

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Mohammad Hafeez dismissed

Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014, 3rd ODI at Dambulla: Ahmed Shehzad dismissed

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Why India will miss Rohit Sharma

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: India’s likely XI

MS Dhoni’s statistics at No 5 and 6 in ODIs are phenomenal

India vs England 3rd ODI at Trent Bridge: Key Battles

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

666 Posts | 6 Fans

12 runs in one ball

United Nation says detained peacekeepers in Syria are ‘safe’

Apple iPhone 6 photos with full casing leaked ahead of September 9 launch

The November Man movie review: Pierce Brosnan shines in an above average spy thriller!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Apple iWatch won’t ship until next year: Report

Ganesh Chaturthi 2014: Vivek Oberoi brings home Lord Ganesha – View pics!

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost USD 560 million so far

Give Virat Kohli a break, India

NGOs pursue education for all

No more fake withdrawal symptoms — a new app can now catch you in the act

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here