Sunrisers Hyderabad have been in fine form in the ongoing Champions League T20 under the leadership of Shikhar Dhawan. While Dhawan has shone with the bat and shown the aggressive intent in his captaincy, Aayush Puthran feels he hasn’t utilised the domestic talents available to him and the team could scale greater heights, if they are put to better use.
Sunrisers Hyderabad, the newbies of the Indian Premier League (IPL), have enjoyed a rather splendid run since their formation. On paper, they don’t really form the most threatening outfit. Yet, they have battled hard as a unit to boast the kind of record that they have till now.
Unlike their run in the IPL, where they relied on their bowling attack, it is their batsmen who are looking dangerous in the ongoing Champions League T20 (CLT20). However, they could’ve done a lot better and still can if Shikhar Dhawan makes good use of the resources available to him. The Delhi batsman is still finding his way through the strategic demands of captaincy, an art in which his former skippers Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White had fared extremely well.
One has to give it to Dhawan for being aggressive and constantly encouraging on the field. However, he hasn’t shown enough faith in the local talents like Karan Sharma, Hanuma Vihari and Ashish Reddy. The trio’s contribution in this season’s IPL was one of the key reasons for Sunrisers’ success, but currently they seem underutilised.
Karan Sharma, who was a revelation in the IPL with his leg-breaks, would prove a handy partner for Amit Mishra, while they have the services of Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy and Thisara Perera in the pace department. Additionally, Karan Sharma’s place in the side has to be questioned, if he has bowled just 32 balls in five matches so far in the tournament.
The case is similar for Reddy and Vihari, whose batting hasn’t brought in enough value to the side. Good form of the openers and promotion of Sammy and Perera in the batting order, too, hasn’t done any good to their position in the side.
Almost all good T20 sides in the world have relied heavily on their domestic talent to help them to glory, and Dhawan too would do well to follow suit. Sunrisers have been lucky so far in the competition as their openers have got them off to good starts as they don’t have quality frontline batsmen after No 3 in the batting order. With Perera and Sammy batting at No 4 and No 5, they don’t have the kind of depth in their batting like the other teams and will have to rely on the services of the trio at the top more often than they have been doing in the recent past.
Although, it would be harsh to judge Dhawan so soon in his captaincy, he can take a cue from his own work of the way he has utilised the multiple talents like Sammy and Perera.
(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)