IPL 2023 – Sunrisers’ right-handedness a glaring issue – Tom Moody
“The thing that screams out to me is that they left the auction table knowing they had a team full of right-handers,” Moody said on ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out. “They released a left-hander in Nicholas Pooran who hit the winning run [for Lucknow on Friday] and they brought someone who was 30% more expensive, who is a right-hander [Harry Brook]….similar sort of impact player.
“They left out Abhishek Sharma, a left-hander, so there’s a lot of things to unpack. When they’re going to play on surfaces like that … when there is that tendency where you can be exposed by being very one dimensional on slow turning tracks, you are sitting ducks.”
Against Lucknow, the Sunrisers XI had just one left-hand batter – Washington Sundar – having dropped Abhishek Sharma for Anmolpreet Singh. Last season, Sunrisers had Abhishek, Washington and Nicholas Pooran as left handers in their line-up.
Lucknow’s spinners thrived against Sunrisers’ right-handers, with left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya, and legspinners Amit Mishra and Ravi Bishnoi all spinning the ball away from the batter. They were the only bowlers to complete their full quota for Lucknow, and finished with combined figures of 12-0-64-6.
Lucknow squad ticks all the boxes – Dasgupta
Their bowling attack appeared hamstrung against Sunrisers, with Mark Wood and Avesh Khan unfit, but brought in Yash Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat as replacements. Quinton de Kock could not find a place either with in-form Kyle Mayers preferred for his all-round skills. Their Impact Player Ayush Badoni did not even have to bat.
“Going back to Tom’s point about auctions, look at that squad [Lucknow’s.],” Dasgupta said. “They’ve ticked almost every box you can think of, including back-ups. Forget the Impact Player, even if they didn’t have an Impact Player they still are so good, be it batting or bowling.
“They’ve done a fabulous job picking that squad at last year’s big auction and even today they read the conditions perfectly. They got what they wanted from the curators, they knew what they were getting.”
The Ekana Stadium in Lucknow has different pitches made from red soil and black soil. While Super Giants made 193 in their opening fixture against Delhi Capitals on a red-soil surface, Friday’s game against Sunrisers was on the slower black-soil pitch. The two types of pitches give Super Giants the ability to choose surfaces depending on their strengths and the opposition.
“They have the option and luxury to do that,” Dasgupta said. “There are quite a few venues in India that have that. In fact, in Ahmedabad, there is red, black and a mixture of red and black … having said that, they also have the squad to kind of exploit that luxury.”
Moody also said that it was a no-brainer for teams to maximise their home advantage. “If the soil’s there, and you’re not trucking it in the day before the game, you play to your advantage…. it is your home venue,” he said. “They would’ve known that Wood was potentially a little unwell 24-48 hours ago, and that would’ve confirmed which surface [they would’ve played on]. And I’m sure they would’ve had a red and a black soil [pitch] prepared, and was an easy decision. Yeah, it is absolutely fine.”