David Warner has surprised one and all by leading an un-fancied Sunrisers Hyderabad side to their maiden IPL title. SRH beat RCB by 8 runs in a closely fought contest at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru yesterday. The home side fell agonizingly short of the 209-run target, despite getting a rollicking 114 run opening stand in 10.3 overs from Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. We take a look at the 3 most important factors that helped SRH upstage the powerful RCB inside their own fortress.
#1. The Best Bowling Attack in IPL 2016
If we were to rate the bowling units of all the 8 teams in IPL 2016, Sunrisers Hyderabad would win the contest hands down. A reformed Bhuvneshwar Kumar led the SRH bowling attack and bagged the purple cap, while the crafty Mustafizur Rahman turned out to be the find of the season. Barinder Sran and Moises Henriques were tremendously useful to the team at various junctures of the tournament. With Bhuvi and ‘Fizz’ on song, most opposing batting units had found it excruciatingly difficult to squeeze out runs in the last 4 overs. Something similar happened to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Final, as they could not find the flow of runs in the crucial last few overs.
#2. David Warner leading from the front
The gutsy Australian had been at the forefront of SRH’s campaign this year. The second highest run scorer of the season, Warner’s cameos at the top of the order provided the oxygen upfront for the rest of the batting order. The skipper also single-handedly made up for Shikhar Dhawan’s inconsistency by scoring the bulk of the runs in the powerplays in most matches. To add to that, his commitment on the field clearly highlighted the amount of dedication and willpower that he had invested in his team this season. Blessed with a good bowling unit, and the addition of Yuvraj Singh in the middle order midway through the tournament, Warner pulled off a miracle by taking a docile outfit to the very zenith of success.
#3. ‘Utility players’ pitching in with match winning contributions regularly
The Sunrisers Hyderabad unit has been fortunate enough to include utility players in the playing XI who have shown their mettle in numerous crunch situations this year. Thus, while Bipul Sharma’s sixes off Morne Morkel’s (KKR) last over in the Eliminator gave SRH the vital extra runs at the end, Ben Cutting’s 24-run assault on Shane Watson in the Final ended up handing SRH a nail biting 8 run win. Such contributions have also come from Moises Henriques in a few matches. When many members of the playing XI perform well together, it becomes difficult to stall the winning momentum of a team. And SRH clearly had that kind of a playing XI this year.