- Cricket Winner | November 9, 2020 | 12:54 pm
Where They Finished:
The Sunrisers finished the tournament third on the table and lost in the second qualifier.
Lots of positives for the Sunrisers as they finished in a position where many wouldn’t have expected.
Despite many injuries to crucial bowlers for the Sunrisers, the back-up bowlers stepped up beautifully and kept the Sunrisers in the hunt.
Most of the side has shown their worth somehow or the other as the side struggled with injuries.
The entire bowling attack has been good for the Sunrisers, while T Natarajan has done well in the death.
Saha’s return to form and David Warner at the top has helped Sunrisers fight back later in the tournament while Williamson has also done well in the middle-order.
Kane Williamson’s presence ensured the game didn’t end with the top-order’s dismissals.
He has shown his ability to keep the Sunrisers in the game with the fifties in the playoffs and displayed his abilities as a world-class player.
Manish Pandey has also been a consistent performer, while Abdul Samad showcased his hitting abilities.
Jason Holder made a late entry into the tournament and had an immediate impact, winning games with bat and ball.
Rashid Khan had to take up more responsibility in Bhuvi’s absence, and he did so by taking crucial wickets in the middle overs.
The side also showed immense character to fight back from the bottom.
The table was fixed for most of the tournament, with the top four consisting of MI, DC, RCB, and KKR.
The Sunrisers struggled early on with their batting and suffered some agonizing defeats.
Despite some demoralizing defeats, Sunrisers managed to pull themselves up to beat the top three teams in three must-win games.
The three wins ensured KKR was knocked out while the Sunrisers went through to the playoffs.
They turned the table around and, in the span of three games, went on to become title contenders despite their low resources.
The Sunrisers didn’t have too many negatives when it came to players as they did their part when given the chance and situation.
The side, however, struggled on a few occasions to close out games.
They struggled to close out three games from the right positions against the Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Kolkata Knight Riders.
Despite being in control of the game, the inexperienced middle-order couldn’t steer the side out of trouble in the chase as the side lost three games that they could have won.
The side also suffered from lots of injuries throughout the tournament.
They lost their most experienced bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and an all-rounder in Mitchell Marsh early on.
Williamson was not available for the initial stages and got injured again in the middle of the tournament, while Vijay Shankar also was ruled out in the later stages.
Wrridhiman Saha found form as an opener and was crucial for the Sunrisers fight back, but a hamstring injury put him out of the playoffs.
In Kane Williamson’s absence, the Sunrisers had a weaker middle-order, which is a crucial reason as to why they lost some close games.
They missed a calm head in the middle overs, and a back-up player in the middle-order may have helped them close out games better in Williamson’s absence.
The Sunrisers players have stepped up nicely this season, and it hasn’t been easy to pick out the star performers this season.
On the bench for most of last season, T Natarajan finally got an opportunity for the Sunrisers.
In Bhuvi’s absence, the other bowlers needed to step up significantly in death.
Natarajan showcased his death bowling skills and executed his Yorkers perfectly.
He has been a formidable bowler to get away in the death and is the leading yorker bowler in IPL 2020.
He picked up 16 wickets with an excellent economy in the death and has damaged many sides’ momentum in the end.
Jason Holder came in as a replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar as many expectations were placed on his all-around skills and experience.
He delivered immediately, taking 14 wickets in just seven matches.
He played a crucial role in the eliminator, sharing a partnership with Kane Williamson to help Sunrisers get to the qualifier.
Kane Williamson started late in the tournament after an injury kept him out for the initial stages.
He suffered another injury later in the tournament but still managed to play twelve games.
He took up the role as a middle-order batsman, and his presence added stability to a side that struggled after the top-order was dismissed.
He played some crucial knocks with his twin fifties in the playoffs coming in high-pressure situations.
His calm attitude ensures the Sunrisers did not choke in the eliminator as he steered the side to the target and nearly did a repeat in the qualifier.
Rashid Khan has been among the top leg-spinners this year.
He has been a vital member of the Sunrisers, and his role has become more important as the side suffered from injuries.
He picked up twenty wickets and has been a formidable bowler to get away even in Sharjah, where spinners struggled initially.
David Warner has been the best batsman for Sunrisers over the year, consistently scoring over five hundred runs for them each season since 2014.
He managed only four fifties this season, which is less for him but still provided the side with some strong starts.
Despite having a relatively silent tour, Warner finished pretty high on the run-scoring chart and scored runs in high-pressure games.
He chipped in with a lot of 40s and was consistent throughout the season.
Wrridhiman Saha also deserves a special mention as he was crucial in the fight back to the playoffs.
He came into the eleven and hit two fifties to go with two thirties in four games.
He supported Warner well and provided the side with good starts allowing them to beat the top three teams and qualify.
Things to look in the future:
With young bowlers like T Natarajan and Sandeep Sharma showing their worth, the Sunrisers have got a promising attack for the next season.
With Bhuvi likely to come back, and Rashid Khan, the bowling side could be tough to play in the coming seasons.
The bowling depth has been displayed this season, showing that they’ve got most parts of it covered.
Abdul Samad has been another find for the Sunrisers with his aggressive batting.
His ability to clear the ropes will give the Sunrisers some confidence in their middle-order while also having Williamson provide some stability.
However, the side may still look for some more middle-order options to go with Williamson, Samad, and Holder.
They have Vijay Shankar and Priyam Garg in the squad and already look a settled side but may still look for an experienced middle-order batsman.
The middle-order has to find a way to fire consistently as they have talent but struggle when the top-order misfires.
They don’t need to look too far beyond the squad and have the players develop a strong side.
With a settled unit, the Sunrisers may again be a little quiet in the auction and only need to work on their execution in games as the next season comes closer.
Sorting out their minor middle-order issues is all that’s needed and will surely make the Sunrisers a formidable side in IPL 2021.