Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) faced a disappointing defeat in the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on April 11 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
After opting to bowl first, the Hyderabad-based franchise did not have a good start since KKR decided to exploit their bowling and piled up 187 runs on board.
The top-scorer for KKR was Nitish Rana, who scored a swashbuckling 80 off 56 balls with nine fours and four sixes.
In response, the David Warner–led team could only reach 177/5 in 20 overs and failed to win the match even though they had five wickets in hand.
Manish Pandey top-scored for SRH with 61 runs off 44 balls. He batted till the end but couldn’t take his side over the finish line.
After the loss, the media had some tough questions for SRH’s head coach Trevor Bayliss with the primary being why Vijay Shankar was sent ahead of the promising Abdul Samad in the run-chase.
Shankar came in at 6th position when SRH needed 57 runs off 24 balls. The right-hander couldn’t stand the test and managed just 11 runs off seven balls before getting out to Andre Russell.
With Samad, coming in after the 30-year-old Shankar and scoring 19 runs off eight balls at a magnificent strike rate of 237.5 with two sixes, such questions were bound to arise.
Talking about the same , Bayliss explained that Shankar was their best player during the practice matches and had hit many balls out of the fence.
“The practice matches that we had a few days ago, Vijay Shankar was our best player. He struck the ball beautifully. He hit the many balls long over the fence,” Bayliss said.
The former New South Wales player even defended Samad, arguing that he was short of time and has a lot of talent.
“From the first ball he faced, Samad was in a short space of time,” opined the 58-year-old cricketer turned coach.
He went onto add that the 19-year-old Samad will improve with experience if he is given more opportunities.
“In the last and this IPL, he has shown that he has got a lot of talent and he is a plain striker of the ball. I think he will get more experience when he gets more opportunities,” Bayliss further said.
SRH will play their next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on April 14 at the same venue.