VVS Laxman has stated that the talk about Sunrisers Hyderabad’s middle-order frailties is not a sustainable one as the batsmen didn’t get enough opportunities so far. The legendary batsman has also added that Kane Williamson might have to play a floater role in the side, depending on situations.
With David Warner and Jonny Bairstow at the top, Sunrisers Hyderabad have a settled top-order but sans Manish Pandey, none of their middle-order batsmen have experience on their side to get going. Pandey and Wriddhiman Saha’s strike rates are a concern, particularly with Vijay Shankar, who got a first-ball duck in the opening game he played, now out with injury. That points to a weak middle-order but SRH mentor VVS Laxman looked at it as glass-half-full.
"I know there's too much talk about the middle order. But to be fair, none of the middle-order batsmen got an opportunity in the last two games [against the Capitals and the Kolkata Knight Riders]. That's a talking point as far as the Sunrisers' franchise is concerned, but deep down, we all have a lot of confidence in the youngsters we have taken," Laxman said in a media interaction, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
"Every franchise will have youngsters in their batting line up; it is just about allowing the youngsters to settle down in the side. As I said, at the moment we've got three youngsters who are playing in the middle order: Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad - and they are quality players."
Going with Rashid Khan as the only overseas bowler in the playing XI, Sunrisers Hyderabad have decided to bolster their top-order with the impetus of Kane Williamson, who missed the first couple of matches due to injury concerns. His comeback was a big boost to the top-order but that also adds the uncapped Indian players to do the finishing job with elan. Laxman is positive about the same but didn’t rule out the chance that Williamson might have to play a floater role in the side.
"There's no doubt that we've got three overseas batsmen in the top four. But what we've got to realise is that based on the squad that we've got, we must have the best players playing in the eleven. And all three of Kane, Warner and Bairstow are top-class batsmen who can win matches on their own.
"We have an opportunity to use Kane at the moment, but based on the circumstances and the opposition, we've got a luxury of playing different combinations. That's the beauty of our squad - we can play different elevens and we also have Jason Holder, who's joined the squad as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh."
"Overall, we're quite excited that we've got youngsters who'll probably play a finishing role. But if we play to our potential - like what we did the other night, when Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma hardly got any deliveries to face - then our batting is sorted out."