Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Trevor Bayliss admitted that dropping David Warner was a tough call, but stressed that it was a decision the management ‘had’ to take in order to set the balance of the team right. Bayliss admitted that on a good wicket in Delhi, SRH simply did not play well.
On Sunday, arguably the biggest selection call in IPL history was made as Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to axe the franchise’s highest ever run-getter, David Warner, in a last-ditch attempt to restore balance. However, the decision backfired as apart from Sunrisers faltering with the bat, Warner’s replacement, Mohammad Nabi, also had a game to forget. For the entirety of 40 overs SRH looked like a team in disarray and eventually, rather unsurprisingly, they slipped to a 55-run defeat.
The defeat left SRH reeling at bottom, but despite the loss the biggest talking point continued to be the omission of Warner. Head coach Trevor Bayliss spoke about the same in the press conference and insisted that it was simply a call the team ‘had’ to take. Bayliss admitted that it was a very difficult call to axe Warner, but claimed that it was the need of the hour as SRH needed to try out different combinations to zero-in on their best XI.
"It was very difficult (to drop Warner from playing XI). He's a guy who's had so much success for the team but that's the way we wanted to go, try and get a different combination working for us," Bayliss said at the post-match conference.
"Like any player who gets dropped, he (Warner) was disappointed. If you saw tonight, he was running around as 12th man doing as much as he could for the team. He has been good, talking with Kane and some of the other players, giving them advice.”
165/8 was all SRH posted on an absolutely flat Delhi wicket that was a paradise for batsmen, and Bayliss admitted that the team found it ‘very challenging’ without Warner at the top of the order. The SRH head coach felt that Williamson did a fine job as captain, but conceded that Jos Buttler single-handedly took the game away from his side.
"Very challenging without David as a player, a new captain. I don't think there's been too much of a problem as Kane has been captain of the team before in the last 2 or 3 years, he's an experienced captain captaining New Zealand. We just didn't play very well tonight and one guy played extremely well."
Among the interesting sub-plots in the game was how Williamson used Rashid Khan. The leg-spinner was summoned to bowl two overs inside the powerplay and he remarkably ended up bowling out by the 11th over. It was done with the idea of dismissing the Samson-Buttler duo early, but the plan fell flat as Rashid only managed to dismiss Yashasvi Jaiswal. Bayliss revealed that bowling Rashid out early was a gamble his team took to dismiss Buttler and Samson but admitted that, on the day, it was a plan that went horribly wrong.
“Rashid is our best performing bowler and he had a decent record against Jos Buttler in the past so we thought we'd bowl him fairly early to try and get Jos out before he gets going.
“Obviously, a very flat wicket. And Kane decided to try and keep going to get him out. Unfortunately, it didn't work tonight, that's the way the game goes sometimes.”
SRH have 1 win from 7 games the halfway stage, and will need to win each of their remaining seven games to stand a chance of making it to the playoffs.