It has been an Indian Premier League season blighted by injuries, with teams like Rising Pune Supergiants and Mumbai Indians particularly affected. One franchise that had largely managed to avoid such incidents was Sunrisers Hyderabad.
However, the injury bug caught up with the team, currently at the top of the table, with bowling spearhead Ashish Nehra being ruled out of the tournament due to a “significant hamstring tendon injury”.
The injury comes at the worst time for Nehra, who had claimed two three-wicket hauls in his last four matches, and the franchise, which would have liked to put its best foot forward in the playoffs.
The 37-year-old missed out on four matches at the start of the season, but since then claimed nine scalps from eight matches at an average of 22.11 and economy rate of 7.65.
More than his bowling figures, his partnership with Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the key to Hyderabad’s fortunes this season. While the franchise has been one of the best bowling units of the tournament so far, Nehra’s injury will mean the young pace duo will have to shoulder the responsibility.
Bhuvneshwar, 26, is currently the second-highest wicket-taker with 16 scalps while the 20-year-old Mustafizur also features in the top-10 wicket-takers’ list with 14.
Nehra’s injury will mean Barinder Sran could get a look-in against Delhi Daredevils at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium on Friday. The 23-year-old got a few chances earlier on but did not impress. Coach Tom Moody was non-committal on who would replace Nehra. “We’ve got a number of options, if we go like-for-like we can go with Barinder Sran, another left-armer. Or we can look at playing a spinner. We’ve got a lot of options. We’ll figure that out.”
Meanwhile, Delhi assistant coach Pravin Amre said, “Nehra not playing will be a big loss for them because he is a wicket-taker, a top bowler. So that is an advantage for us.”