Irfan Pathan has named four players who he feels Sunrisers Hyderabad should retain ahead of the IPL 2021 auctions. Pathan named current skipper Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan and young guns Umran Malik and Abdul Samad as his top picks for players who should continue to be part of the franchise.
The 15th edition of IPL is set to be much more interesting, as two new teams have been added to the tournament, and will feature from the upcoming season. All 10 IPL franchisees will be looking forward to the mega auction ahead of IPL 2022 to build a core team. IPL franchises will have to finalize their retentions by November 30 and some of the teams have already announced their retained players.
IPL 2021 was a disappointing campaign for Sunrisers Hyderabad, as they finished at the bottom of the points table with just three wins from 14 games.
Irfan Pathan, who represented the franchise during his playing days, has named his four choices that the team should retain ahead of the upcoming season. The former all-rounder reckoned that Rashid Khan and Kane Williamson would be the frontrunners.
“Kane Williamson will be the leader for them. Ideally the first pick should be Rashid Khan, but from what I have heard, he might be. We don't know. If he stays, it will be good for Sunrisers. If he doesn't stay, it means he wants something better. First pick will be Kane Williamson,” Pathan said on Star Sports.
Umran Malik clocked 153kmph on the speed gun, the fastest delivery in the 14th edition of the tournament, and impressed everyone with fierce bowling in his debut IPL season. Right-hand batsman, Abdul Samad, too, has demonstrated his hard-hitting skills at the back end of the innings in the last two seasons. Pathan chose the two young guns as the other two possible retentions for SRH, while looking at other options.
“Bhuvneshwar Kumar is there, but he hasn't been bowling well. Khaleel Ahmed is there," he said. "T Natarajan is there. But they might want to invest in future and you might see Umran Malik and Abdul Samad getting retained. They should be doing that. Samad is a kind of player who the finish the game. Batting at No.6 and 7 might be the guy for future as long as the Indian team is concerned as well, but he needs to start winning the games and play domestic cricket.”
David Warner’s form was an issue of concern for the SRH management in IPL 2021. The swashbuckling opener could manage mere 195 runs from eight matches at an average of 24.37. Eventually, the Australian was dropped from playing XI in the majority of games in the second half of the IPL 2021. However, Warner bounced back in T20 World Cup 2021 with 289 runs and was adjudged as Player of the Tournament in Australia's victorious campaign.
Irfan Pathan feels that SRH are unlikely to invest on Warner, despite his impressive performance in the T20 World Cup.
“What he has done for Sunrisers Hyderabad is commendable but what he was dropped is more than just a cricketing reason," he said. "I don't know if it's a loss or not because you want to finish and when you played well for quite a few years for one franchise you don't want to go somewhere else and start your journey again. Again, he is not 25 years old. So are you going to invest? No, Sunrisers Hyderabad are not going to retain him for sure. They will look for the future for sure."