© BCCI
© BCCI

Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 has come to an end for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). After finishing third in the points table at the conclusion of league stage, SRH set up a clash with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Eliminator, an encore of the last season. However, this time around, they could not script a similar story as they did in 2016 and failed to cross the knockout hurdle. There were plenty of reasons for their playoffs exit in IPL 2017: poor away record, heavy reliance on a couple of individuals, unsettled playing XI and loss of form to key players were the prominent ones.

However, the major reason for their early exit from the playoffs was luck. After scoring 128 batting first, SRH did not get a fair chance to defend their total with rain playing spoilsport. Hours of delay were followed by a 6-over run chase with KKR needing just 48 to win on D/L method. They got there after a few hiccups, sending the defending champions packing. Luck, we say, played a part because had the stoppage extended by 20 more minutes, SRH would have qualified for Qualifier 2 on the basis of finishing above KKR in the points table.

As things stand now, KKR will face Mumbai Indians (MI) in Qualifier 2 and the winner of that game will take on Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in IPL 2017 final on May 21. Coming back to SRH’s performance, let us take a look at how their players fared this year and assign marks out of 10 based on their performance.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (14 matches | 26 wickets at 14.19): 8.5/10

SRH’s Mr. Consistent, Bhuvneshwar had another terrific season on a personal note. He finished the season with 26 wickets from 14 games and the Purple Cap (by the time of SRH’s exit). He registered his maiden five-wicket haul in T20 cricket this season: 5 for 19 against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). That, in fact, was also the spell that stood out this season. It not just helped SRH win a close game by 5 runs, but also got the side back on winning track after consecutive defeats. Bhuvneshwar also completed his 100 IPL wickets this year, becoming the fastest to the milestone in 82 games. His effort deserved a title-winning finish for SRH, and it is a pity his side crashed out in the Eliminator.

David Warner (14 matches | 641 runs at 58.27): 7.5/10

David Warner was with the bat to SRH what Bhuvneshwar was with the ball. The commander of the Orange Army had yet another fruitful season on a personal note, where he became the first overseas player and fifth overall to complete 4,000 runs in IPL. He also finished the league with the Orange Cap (by the time of SRH’s exit) and played a few match-winning innings during the tournament, with his 126 against KKR and 70* against KXIP being stand-out performances. As a leader as well, Warner did a commendable job, often leading the side by example.

Rashid Khan (14 matches | 17 wickets at 21.05): 7.5/10

Easily the find of this season, Rashid Khan was a revelation in IPL 2017. The first-ever Afghanistan player to play in IPL, Rashid made an instant impact in the league, picking up the biggies with his wrong ’un. Every time he came in to bowl, it looked like he will get wickets for his captain, and he delivered more often than not. Still 18, there is still a long way to go for Rashid. His 17 wickets this season, however, have ensured him another season in IPL when he goes into the auction pool next year.

Shikhar Dhawan (14 matches | 479 runs at 36.84): 7/10

Shikhar Dhawan was consistent for SRH, just like last year. He scored 479 runs from 14 games at 36.84 and played a few important knocks. However, at times he looked scratchy. Also, he loses out on some points for scoring the runs at a relatively lesser strike rate than his other colleagues at the top of the order.

Kane Williamson (7 matches | 256 runs at 42.66): 6.5/10

It is not often that you see a player of Kane Williamson’s stature sitting outside in the dugout wearing a bib. But in IPL, such scenes are commonplace. The Kiwi captain, who is one of the finest contemporary batsmen, was made to miss half the games his side played this season for the sake of balance and team combination, since only four overseas players could play in a match. However, whenever he got a chance, he made it count. SRH should have played him more.

Siddharth Kaul (10 matches | 16 wickets at 18.75): 6.5/10

The leader of India U-19’s pace attack at U-19 World Cup in 2008, Siddharth Kaul finally made a mark in IPL this year. Playing 10 games, he picked up 16 wickets, delivering match-winning spells on a couple of occasions. He was brilliant for his side, and misses out on an extra point only for his economy rate (8.41), which was a bit on the higher side.

Mohammed Siraj (6 matches | 10 wickets at 21.20): 6/10

Mohammed Siraj was yet another find for SRH. The pacer from Hyderabad, who backed up a terrific Ranji Trophy 2016-17 season with some exemplary performances in IPL 2017, finished with 10 wickets in just six games he played. His raw pace and knack of taking wickets came in handy for SRH this year. The youngster, though, leaked runs at 9.21, which costs him some marks.

Vijay Shankar (4 matches | 101 runs at 50.50): 6/10

The Tamil Nadu limited-overs skipper Vijay Shankar played just four games and scored a vital fifty. It would have been interesting to see how he would have fared over a longer period.

Moises Henriques (12 matches | 277 runs at 46.16, 1 wicket at 248): 5.5/10

Moises Henriques was good with the bat in the early stages of IPL 2017. However, he lost his form in the middle and later stages of the tournament. Moreover, being an all-rounder, SRH banked on his bowling as well. But he failed to deliver on that front. Also being a senior player, he did not quite live up to the expectations. Numbers suggest he was decent, but he could have done a lot more for his franchise.

Mohammad Nabi (3 matches | 2 wickets at 29.20, runs 2 at 2.00): 5.5/10

Another Afghan sensation, Nabi got just three games this season. He was brilliant with the ball and finished with the best economy rate (5.27) among SRH bowlers. Being a big striker of the ball, it was unfortunate he did not get a chance to showcase his batting skills. But the limited showing suggests he would have an asset with the ball had he played more games.

Yuvraj Singh (12 matches | 252 runs at 28.00): 5/10

Barring a couple of games, Yuvraj Singh failed to fire with the bat on the whole. He did not take enough responsibility being one of the senior most members of the side. However, he used his experience to diffuse a potential on-field spat between Robin Uthappa and his teammate Kaul during SRH-KKR game, thus earning some fair-play points.

Bipul Sharma (7 matches | 3 wickets at 43, runs 31 at 31.00): 3.5/10

Bipul Sharma played half the games this season, but failed to make an impact. With the ball, he picked up just 3 wickets and scored a mere 31 runs with the bat. However, he was a livewire in the field and affected a few important dismissals with his sharp catching and direct-hits, thus earning an extra half mark.

Naman Ojha (14 matches | 79 runs at 19.75): 3/10

If one player who has been the biggest letdown for SRH, it has been Naman Ojha. Being a senior member of the team now, he was poor with the bat. He could neither beef up the total batting lower down the order nor close the games. His wicketkeeping, too, did not inspire. Giving Eklavya Dwivedi a run would have been a better choice perhaps.

Ashish Nehra (6 matches | 8 wickets at 24.62): 3/10

The fragile body of Ashish Nehra broke down during the season. Sounds familiar? It does, for it has happened before. He just played six games and was uninspiring in them, leaking runs at 9.30. It is perhaps a time for him to take a stock of things and make a call on his career.

Deepak Hooda (10 matches | 78 runs at 26.50, 2 wickets at 21.00): 3/10

Deepak Hooda, too, was a letdown. Scoring 78 runs at 26.50 and taking just 2 wickets, Hooda did not do justice to his place in the side. Rightly so, he was dropped for a few games.

Ben Cutting (4 matches | 51 runs at 25.50, 1 wicket at 123): 2.5/10

Ben Cutting could not replicate his last year’s performance. He got just four games this year, where he scored 51 runs and picked up a solitary wicket.

Chris Jordan (1 match | 1 wicket at 9.00): 2/10

Chris Jordan played just a single game this season and bowled a single over. However, he delivered that over in most difficult of situations, in his side’s pursuit of defending 48 in 6 overs. Jordan picked up the wicket of Robin Uthappa on his second ball and conceded 9 runs from the over. He gets 2 marks for showing his nerves in such tense situations.

Mustafizur Rahman (1 match | 0 wicket): 1/10

Mustafizur ‘The Fizz’ Rahman was a pale shadow of his ‘Emerging Player of the Season’ award last year, where he picked up 17 wickets in his maiden IPL outing. Mustafizur joined his squad late this year, had a poor game and was subsequently benched before he left early to join national squad in Ireland. He gets 1 mark just for showing up.

Barinder Sran (1 match | 0 wicket): 1/10

Barinder Sran, too, gets that 1 mark just for showing up.

Benched players: Pravin Tambe, Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Eklavya Dwivedi, Ben Laughlin, Abhimanyu Mithun

Sunrisers Hyderabad (15 matches, 8 wins, 6 defeats, 1 no result): 7/10

Overall, the team gets 7 marks out of 10.