Sunrisers Hyderabad, who suffered two back-to-back defeats last week, have been handed another blow with star pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar getting rulled out of his side’s crucial tie against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.
Sunrisers skipper Kane Williamson informed reporters on Monday that Bhuvneshwar was yet to recover from a back injury he picked up during his side’s previous match against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
“Bhuvneshwar hasn’t travelled with the team to Mumbai and will not play in the next game,” Williamson said.
Bhuvneshwar has been one Sunrisers’ major contributors so far in the tournament. In four games, the 28-year-old has picked up six wickets at an average of 17.16 and an impressive economy of 6.86.
The news will come as music to the ears of Mumbai Indians supporters. The team has now lost four of their five games and is in desperate need of a win.
The team has been laid low with injuries in the past week, with star batsman also being laid low after being knocked on the elbow off the first ball he faced against Kings XI Punjab last week.
Williamson, though, was optimistic of his recovery in time for the crucial game against Mumbai.
“Shikhar is currently doing a fitness test at the ground, certainly hoping that he will be fine for tomorrow,” Williamson said.
Rashid under scanner
Sunrisers will also be worried about the fitness of big-hitter Yusuf Pathan, who had cramped up in the previous game. Williamson, though, seemed hopeful of a full recovery from the former India all-rounder.
Having won their first three games, Sunrisers have been put under pressure after losing their last two encounters. While the injuries have not helped their cause, a dip in the performance of a few key players has coincided with their consecutive losses.
Star spinner Rashid Khan who was in fine form early on in the tournament has leaked a lot of runs in the previous two games. Rashid conceded 49 runs against Chennai, while in Mohali, the Afghanistan star was smashed for 55 runs.
“Rashid is a world class bowler, but T20 cricket I suppose does not make anyone exempt from the fact that anyone can be put under pressure, any bowler can be hit, so that’s the nature of the game and I suppose he has learn a huge amount in such a short period of time.
”Last couple of games, it is been a couple of special knocks, (from) people who have played Rashid nicely, but he is a world class bowler and will bounce back well. You need to embrace those challenges and I know he will,” Williamson added.
The Kiwi batsman admitted that the competition was tough with scenarios changing with close finishes becoming the norm.
“It is extremely strong competition as every year, this year almost every team is very well balanced,” Williamson said. “Every game is a tough game, as we have seen there have been so many close finishes. You just want to be on the right side of the result in those tight games, for us yesterday (against CSK) that wasn’t to be.
“It is brilliant competition, all teams are beating each other and no one is unbeaten.”