Sunrisers Hyderabad struggled to make an impact in the first leg of the IPL, winning just one game out of seven.

The top order, barring Jonny Bairstow (248 runs), wasn’t as prolific as it would have liked to be, and only Rashid Khan (10 wickets in seven matches at 6.14) shone among the bowlers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was back in the IPL after missing out in 2020 due to injury, took just three wickets in four matches at 57.66. The team’s poor run prompted the management to remove David Warner as captain and hand the role to Kane Williamson, just days before the tournament was postponed.

It remains to be seen what strategy the team employs to resurrect itself in the UAE. A playoff spot seems tough, as it would need to win at least six of its remaining seven games.

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Mitchell Marsh is likely to return to the IPL, after opting out of the first leg due to bio-bubble fatigue. Sunrisers will also be buoyed by the return of T. Natarajan, who has recovered from a knee injury that kept him out of action for much of the first leg.

Williamson, Bhuvneshwar, Shreevats Goswami, Stuart Binny, Manish Pandey, Siddarth Kaul, Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Abhishek Sharma, and team mentor V. V. S. Laxman, among others, are in the UAE already.

The political situation in Afghanistan may not affect the participation of the nation’s cricketers in the IPL. Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb ur Rahman remain available for the second leg. Jonny Bairstow has declared himself unavailable, though, and the club has signed West Indies’ Sherfane Rutherford as the replacement player.

New signings: none

Withdrawals: none

Standing: 8th, 7 matches, 2 points

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