IPL 2018, MI Vs SRH: Bigger Responsibility at Hand for the Pandya Brothers

MI had a tried and tested opening pair, a strong and explosive Indian middle order, two of the best all-rounder’s and bowlers in T20 cricket, arguably the best wicketkeeper in the world and a large battery of Indian pacers. All they needed was the plan on paper to work like a machine.

For as good a batsman as he is, and for as well as he has performed, to expect him to provide the firepower to their batting would be a bit unfair. The role was well set for Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda, two of the most brutal hitters of the cricket ball in the country. Maybe neither of them are in their peak form, but when at their best, at No. 6 and 7, they are as good options as a team can find.

Look to impact players who may not play a big role but boost the scoring rate in a matter of few balls, in the lower-middle order. Apart from the fact that they provide the late flourish, they also have the tendency to change the course of match in a short span. As AR Srikkanth, KKR’s scout and video analyst, said, “Some times, you need match winners. There are different types of players who provide that kind of madness. The guy who you are expecting to provide that kind of madness, you can’t expect him to be consistent.

They come into the side with the teams fully aware that they can’t be counted upon for consistency. And it’s a fair risk that teams are willing to take, expecting these players to win them those one or two games from difficult situations. With No. 6 (11.32 balls) and No. 7 (8.64) facing far lesser deliveries than the top order batsmen (around 20 balls), the dangers of their failure are also lesser. At worst, they may not win those games. At best, they may hit a purple patch and be consistent with their demolition.

Much like Sunrisers Hyderabad, their opponents on Tuesday (April 24), too are likely to field two Baroda players – Hardik and Krunal Pandya. Like Hooda and Yusuf, the Pandya brothers too come with a reputation of hitting big and being multi-utility players. And thus, despite limited credentials at the international level, it’s no surprise that the four Baroda men commanded a total value of Rs 25.9 Crore at the auction/retention this year.

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