For all the big foreign names bought by the teams in this Indian domestic Twenty20 league, Sunrisers Hyderabad probably pack the least star power among them. In hindsight, it has worked in their favour more than any other team.
Apart from Dale Steyn, Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White and Thisara Perera the only other names that could vie for a berth are West Indian captain Darren Sammy, South African left-hand bat Quinton De Cock and New Zealand medium-pacer Clint McKay.
Steyn and Sangakkara pick themselves, while Perera and White’s consistent all-round performance means Sunrisers are assured of the returns from them.
And with players like Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Parthiv Patel doing their part, it has been easier for captain Sangakkara to plan around a settled bunch of players.
KKR yet to strike the right balance
Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders, however, are yet to find that exact combination.
Sunil Narine is the only player exempt from the selection confusion that KKR face now, but strange tactics have meant players like Brett Lee too aren’t really sure of their place.
Despite being available, KKR overlooked Lee in favour of Ryan McLaren in the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore where he went for plenty. While on the other hand Jacques Kallis continues to be miserly with his bowling, he is yet to fire with the bat, making things difficult at the top for KKR.
Manvinder Bisla failing in the opening position makes a case for Brendon McCullum but as long as Eoin Morgan keeps performing, the New Zealand captain might find it difficult to enter the team.
Pitch could decide changes in team
Gautam Gambhir views it as a happy problem but the onus is on him to choose the right players and hold on to them for a long run.
If Saturday’s training session was any indication, Sri Lanka spinner Sachithra Senanayake could have a chance and KKR could go for massive changes in the team after examining the Eden Gardens pitch that looked on the drier side. Bowling both Narine and Senanayake seems an improbable option however. But given the distraught situation KKR face currently, anything is possible.
Sunrisers won’t be too worked up by all that.
They have just registered a close victory against the Delhi Daredevils and anyway have good slow bowling options in Mishra and White.
But more importantly, they have been consistent and united in their effort, unlike the stars of KKR.
Gambhir & Co thus face a double-edged sword of sorts.