On Friday, April 21, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, the Chennai Super Kings defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 7 wickets, handing them their second straight setback in the Indian Premier League 2023. When given the chance to bat first, SRH struggled mightily under Ravindra Jadeja’s spell, only managing to reach 134/7 in their allotted 20 overs. Devon Conway produced his third successive fifty of the season, scoring 77* off 57 balls as CSK responded by chasing the mark in 18.4 overs. Washington Sundar, an all-rounder for SRH, didn’t have the greatest of nights as he managed just nine runs off just six balls while conceding 16 runs in 2.4 overs. Brian Lara, the team’s head coach, said Sundar is valuable to the franchise with both the bat and the ball after their defeat. However, they are patient with the 23-year-old and don’t want to promote him too quickly.
Washington contributes to the squad by bowling and batting, but we have guys who can fill the top positions. Yes, we want Washington to be that exceptional all-around player who can play both ball and bat, but I believe it will take time. Pressing the button and saying, “This kid has potential, let’s get him up [the batting order],” is essentially pressing the panic button, according to Lara, who made the comment during the post-game news conference.
Sundar has played four innings in IPL 2023 so far, scoring 36 runs with an 80 percent strike rate and an average of nine runs per inning. He has pitched 13.4 overs and is still without a wicket while allowing 118 runs at an economy of 8.63.
The pairing of left and right is not unfavorable. The team was once again let down by Brian Lara batting unit, which managed only 134 runs in the opening inning. Instead of using Mayank Agarwal as their opening pair, they attempted Harry Brook and Abhishek Sharma, and they contributed 35 runs in 4.2 overs. Lara noted that the left-right pairing shown some potential while discussing the performance of the new opening duo.
“The test of trying to move Harry Brook up the list resulted in a 100. If you were to ask what lineup we would prefer to have at the start of the competition, Abhishek and Mayank Agarwal [as openers] would be the answer. The few times Harry Brook has been able to get off, however, he has given the inning some momentum. He clearly has a goal in mind. The left-right pairing is not necessarily a bad one. There was some potential, but it didn’t quite work today [Friday],” Lara continued.
In the meantime, SRH has dropped to the ninth rank on the points table with two victories from six games after losing back-to-back games against Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. At their home stadium, the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, they will try to go back to winning ways against the Delhi Capitals on Monday, April 24.