Can Pandey shore up a suspect SRH middle order?


The success story of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow at the top had a lesson for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the last Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The former was the Orange cap holder with 692 runs from 12 outings while the latter plundered 445 runs from 10 innings to take the rivals by storm. But their association also meant the middle order was starved of a hit in the centre.
When the duo left for national duty ahead of the World Cup, the Sunrisers were found wanting. The likes of Martin Guptill and Yusuf Pathan failed to step up. Skipper Kane Williamson’s iffy form added to their woes.
The opening duo will be back this season, but the Sunrisers hope that Manish Pandey will come good at No. 3.

The right-hander, who chipped in with 344 runs from 12 innings last season, will be the fulcrum on which the SRH batting rests. The team expects Pandey to shore up the inexperienced middle order of Priyam Garg/Virat Singh, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Nabi and Abdul Samad/Abhishek Sharma, while ensuring the momentum gained by the openers is not lost.

He didn’t exactly set the house on fire with scores of 14*, DNB, 14*, 50* and 11* for India in the five T20Is against New Zealand, but the Sunrisers hope that the first Indian to score an IPL ton – ironically against Hyderabad (as erstwhile Deccan Chargers) – has it in him to deliver the goods.

His experience with RCB and KKR should stand him in good stead in his third SRH season.

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