IPL 2020: Can Sunrisers Hyderabad do the improbable, again?

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IPL 2020: Can Sunrisers Hyderabad do the improbable, again?

06 Nov 2020 078 Views Cricket News

Sunrisers Hyderabad: A one-way road to the title

In the history of the Indian Premier League since the IPL playoffs system began in 2011, there has been a certain advantage given to the first two teams that qualify for the last four. As it should be. The top two teams in the league stage are usually the strongest team. How so? Out of the nine instances of playoffs, eight times a team in the top two has gone on to lift the IPL T20 trophy.

IPL 2019: RCB vs SRH – Winning Moment

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

However, we should also talk about the one. The one time when a team played the eliminator and went on to win the last three knockout game and win the title.

The year was 2016, and the team was Sunrisers Hyderabad. They qualified third in the IPL points table and then defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator, Gujarat Lions in Qualifier 2, and Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL final. One of the perks of doing so is that it always remains fresh in the memory of the fans. And the opposition.

SRH qualify for IPL Playoffs 2020 after beating MI convincingly

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Especially after how SRH have paved a path for themselves in IPL playoffs 2020. For a large part of the tournament, MI, DC, and RCB looked three very strong and in a league of their own teams. They all had 10 points in seven games at the end of the first half of the tournament and it almost looked like it is these three and the one team that will just about make to the playoffs.

The picture has changed completely after Sunrisers won three out of their last three, beating these top three and getting to number three in the IPL Standings. As hilarious as it may sound, but the drubbings they gave to their opponents are to be considered seriously.

Saha and Warner take SRH to IPl Playoffs 2020

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Hyderabad beat Delhi Capitals by 88 runs, scoring 219 against them and dismissing them in the 19th over. They beat Royal Challengers Bangalore, the team they face in the eliminator by five wickets with 35 balls to spare after having halted them to 120/7 in 20 overs. And against the most consistent team this season Mumbai Indians and for the last few seasons, Hyderabad displayed their best show. A 10-wicket win, chasing 150 with 17 balls to spare. It was for the first time in 9 years that MI had been defeated by this margin.

And now all of sudden, Hyderabad go into the playoffs with the best momentum. Three games away from lifting the trophy. They did it in 2016. They are in serious contention to do it again. And it is not just because of the results, but the process that has led to it. Bharat Army takes a look at the key players involved in the process after the injury to Bhuvneshvar Kumar and Mitchell Marsh:

Bharat Army: Bhuveneshvar Kumar injured early in IPL 2020

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

Hyderabad were facing major injury issues in the first half of the season. They lost Mitchell Marsh owing to an injury in their very first game. Their prime pacer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was also ruled out of the season due to the same.

Add to that the defeat that came at the hands of Kings Xi Punjab, when SRH were 52/0 in six overs chasing 126 and then collapsed at 114. A defeat like that would have, should have broken their morale completely. But a positive that had been added to the team was Jason Holder.

3. Jason Holder- The Caribbean All-rounder rising up for Hyderabad:

Bharat Army: Jason Holder the x-factor for SRH

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

A mature all-rounder who can contribute with the bat and the bowl. He has so far taken 10 wickets in the five games that he has played. What looks better for Hyderabad now is their batting at the bottom.

Earlier, they were solely relying on the exuberance of youth with Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, and Abdul Samad. Vijay Shankar had also been someone to look up to. And to an extent, these individuals did help SRH look good at times. But with Jason Holder present in the lower order, the team looks even better set to hit big in the final overs, if the need be.

2. Wriddhiman Saha: Finding form before India's tour of Australia

Bharat Army: Wridhiman Saha has found form before India vs Australia tour

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

A big but sensible call taken in ensuring that Holder stayed in the XI, was to take out Jonny Bairstow and put in Wriddhiman Saha as an opener. Gutsy call, but it proved out to be right from the get-go as Saha has scored 214 runs in four games this season at a strike rate of 139.6 which includes two important half-centuries. Saha being in the mood has also helped David Warner get into his zone and hit freely, and together the two look a deadly opening duo. 

1. Rashid Khan- Spinning the Web to IPL Playoffs 2020:

Bharat Army: Rashid Khan a key player in SRH Squad

(Image Credits: https://www.iplt20.com/photos)

This coupled with their bowling which is looking more solid makes the overall shape of SRH a competitive one. They haven't conceded more than 150 runs in their last four games which were against tough batting lineups of KXIP, DC, RCB, and MI. Spin magician, Rashid Khan is looking impeccable with 19 wickets so far in the tournament and looking hungry for more. He has been supported well by T Natarajan (14), Sandeep Sharma (13), and with the experience of Holder being added as well. 

So when you look at all these numbers, all these performances, one thing can't be kept aside. Sunrisers Hyderabad's chances of doing the improbable. Something only they have done before. Win the title, by winning three in a row from the eliminator.

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