Sunrisers’ planning in IPL was a disaster, Kawaljeet Singh lashes out

Abhijit Sen Gupta
Abhijit Sen Gupta

One more edition of the IPL cricket tournament has come to an end and Sunrisers Hyderabad have finished at the bottom with a disappointing performance. What made this team play in such a depressing manner? The team’s below par display has left thousands of cricket fans feeling deeply frustrated and unhappy. Out of 14 matches played, Sunrisers lost 11 and won only three to finish with a meagre 6 points.

To find out why Sunrisers failed to live up to expectations, siasat.com spoke to former Hyderabad Ranji trophy captain Kawaljeet Singh who had been one of the coaches for the Hyderabad based Deccan Chargers team which took part in the IPL before Sunrisers. Kawaljeet during his playing days was one of the best off spinners in India who should have played in the Indian Test team. So his opinion carries the weight of a long and successful career as a bowler and as a coach.

Kawaljeet came down heavily on those who planned the team’s campaign in the IPL. He is of the opinion that the blame should rest squarely on the shoulders of the team’s think-tank.

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“The planning was woeful. The combinations were completely wrong. These days, it is all about finding the right combinations. If that aspect of the team clicks, then all goes well. I would say that one of the persons who should be held accountable is Tom Moody, former Australian international who is the most experienced of the planners within the Sunrisers set up. He should have discharged his role more effectively,” said Kawal.

“The T20 format is a high pressure one. The planning and preparations have to be perfect. There is no room for error. A single mistake will send you plummeting to defeat. There is no time to recover. So obviously one has to have a foolproof plan, foresee all the eventualities and be ready with innovations if the script changes suddenly. This is where Sunrisers slipped up badly,” Kawaljeet explained.

“I also felt that dropping David Warner was totally wrong. He is a good T20 player and one has to keep in mind that his abilities have paved the way to victories earlier. He was made a scapegoat for the bad showing whereas the blame should have been put elsewhere. Warner’s experience and abilities with the bat is something that Sunrisers cannot afford to lose,” stated Kawal.

“If you take into account the fact that Warner has a batting average of 31.45 in T20 internationals, and his immensely successful record in the IPL, it is immediately clear that his services cannot be wished away. Moreover, the captain cannot be held responsible when the approach and preparations behind the scenes have been shockingly deficient. The think-tank had no ideas and no plans to counter the rival teams that Sunrisers played against,” said Kawal.

Meanwhile speculation is rife in the media that Warner will be released by Sunrisers before the beginning of the next season. It is expected that the Hyderabad team will go in for major restructuring and one of the casualties may be Warner. This is what Kawaljeet Singh is angry about. He is of the opinion that Warner is being blamed for the fault of others.

The manner in which Warner was treated by the team management has also angered the fans. They feel that there is more to it than meets the eye. On Twitter there are many messages to support Warner. “No Warner, No SRH,” they are saying.

A message from the Fans of Sunrisers addressed to the Owners stated: “We fans are unaware of the entire saga that has transpired around the sacking of David Warner as captain and his exclusion from the playing eleven. We understand that the management and coaching staff have to take harsh decisions sometimes. However, it was a bitter pill to swallow when we had to see the best player ever to wear the SRH jersey, stay on the sidelines. We, the fans of Sunrisers, want the retention of Warner. Respected owners, we want you to kindly acknowledge our emotions at this point of time.”

Now it remains to be seen whether the team management and owners will pay heed to the opinions of experts like Kawaljeet and the desires of the numerous fans without whose support the value of any team and the sport itself will diminish in importance.

Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.

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