Michael Vaughan believes that in the case of Saha being injured, the Sunrisers should replace him with Shreevats Goswami and stick with Kane Williamson owing to the fact that the Kiwi skipper adds stability to the middle-order. Earlier, Saha’s injury opened up a possible Jonny Bairstow return.
Sunrisers Hyderabad dropped a bombshell in their clash versus Delhi Capitals by dropping Jonny Bairstow, a player seen as one of the three pillars of the side, but the bold move turned out to be a masterstroke as his replacement, Wriddhiman Saha, grabbed his opportunity with both hands, striking an impeccable 87. The change was, of course, initiated to get Kane Williamson back in the side to add more stability to the middle order, and so Jason Holder having done well with the bat meant that it was Bairstow who had to make way.
However, whilst batting against Delhi, Saha sustained a groin injury and the niggle has now opened up the possibility of Bairstow making a potential return to the side, just one game after being axed.
According to Michael Vaughan, however, bringing Bairstow back - most likely in place of Williamson - would not be a wise decision. Previewing SRH’s clash versus RCB on Saturday, Vaughan described Williamson as ‘the glue that holds SRH’s middle-order together’ and opined that in the case of Saha being injured, he would just draft in a like-for-like replacement in the form of Shreevats Goswami.
“SRH will have to go like-for-like and bring in Shreevats Goswami (if Saha is injured). Jason Holder at No.6 and No.7 gives them striking power and Kane Williamson is the glue to that team. It allows the top two to go out there and fire,” Vaughan said on Cricbuzz LIVE.
“I think without Williamson, Jonny Bairstow and David Warner were playing within themselves. They were probably worried that if one of them got out, there was no one in the middle order to cement the team together.”
Powered by their openers, Sunrisers scored a whopping 219 versus the Capitals and Vaughan is of the opinion that it’s Williamson’s presence that gives license to the openers to throw the kitchen sink. Thus, the 46-year-old reckoned that Bairstow will have to warm the bench for the second game running.
“With Kane Williamson in the side, I think the opening partnership knows they can go, and go hard. Even if they get out, Kane is so trustworthy of playing well irrespective of what the situation is. I’m afraid Jonny will have to miss out, I don’t see any other option but for SRH to go with exactly what worked in the last game.”
Sunrisers were not the only side that dropped one of their openers as their opponents on Saturday, Bangalore, in their previous game against Mumbai, axed the misfiring Aaron Finch to accommodate young Josh Phillipe up top. Renowned commentator Pommie Mbangwa expressed his surprise over the decision but expected the Reds to continue backing Phillipe in the games to come. The young Western Australia impressed in his first chance up top, scoring a 24-ball 33.
“I was a bit surprised that RCB did not stick with Finch. The reason I say this is because the fact that they kept him this long suggests that they felt that he might turn the corner. But now I don’t think they will drop him for one game and bring him back for another,” Mbangwa said in the same show.
“If you do, you’re exposing the jumbled nature of your thinking. So I don’t see Finch coming back, I think they will settle with Philippe up top and hope that they will get a lot more from the skipper himself and de Villiers, the two big names in the side.”
RR’s win on Friday means that SRH will progress to the playoffs should they win each of their remaining two matches.