IPL 11

Data-check: The numbers behind Sunrisers Hyderabad’s irresistible bowling attack

There’s no space for a batsman to hide against the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling line-up that constantly stifles.

“Maybe a batsman or two short,” one would have thought after looking at the Sunrisers Hyderabad roster after this year’s IPL auction.

They had the chance to rebuild a team, to make it more balanced. For, they have always been a team reliant on one or two for putting runs on the board. And, one of their key batsmen – their captain – David Warner, who they retained was out of the tournament due to disciplinary charges. So, they might have had gone overboard with the bowlers in the auction, one thought.

How wrong one could be!

The Sunrisers are on a five-match winning streak and look good to break the record for most points accumulated in the group stages of IPL. This they have managed after defending totals of 118, 132, 151, 146 against some of the batting behemoths of IPL. In all these games, the opposition was looking good to win at the Powerplay stage.

Teams while chasing against Sunrisers

OPPOSITION TARGET POWERPLAY SCORE FINAL SCORE
Royal Challengers  147 55/1 141/6
Rajasthan Royals 152 43/1 140/6
Kings XI Punjab 133 44/0 119/10
Mumbai Indians 119 22/3 87/10
Kolkata Knight Riders* 48 48/3
*As per D/L method

It isn’t astonishing to see the Sunrisers do so well so far in the tournament. But this domination – losing just two out of 10 games – not many expected.

One of the unsurprised few about his team’s performance is coach Tom Moody. He and his support staff knew from the beginning what they were doing. Which is why the decision to bolster the bowling attack at the auction is paying dividends.

Ahead of Sunrisers’ second match against Rajasthan Royals, he said: “We’ve got excellent personnel who have experience in IPL cricket. We’ve got bowlers who have diverse level of skill. We were aware during the auction process that we wanted to make sure our depth in quality of Indian pace attack is a strong one. It’s not a great surprise to me that they have delivered but it’s great that when given a chance, they have stepped up and delivered.”

Moody knew he could count on his bowling unit even if his batting line-up (deprived of a T20 leviathan like Chris Gayle or AB de Villiers or Sunrisers’ own David Warner) came short. For his bowlers have not only won him matches, but an IPL: in 2016. That year Sunrisers won the tournament with the season’s worst middle order.

Their bowlers that year, led by the sagacious Bhuvneshwar Kumar, picked up the second-most wickets, were most economical and delivered the highest number of dot balls.

Sunrisers bowlers in 2016

TEAM WICKETS ECONOMY RATE DOT BALLS
Sunrisers Hyderabad 88 7.77 668
Delhi Daredevils  63 8.03 540
Gujarat Lions 75 8.43 620
Rising Pune Supergiant 70 8.26 539
Kings XI Punjab 63 8.57 509
Royal Challengers Bangalore 89 8.74 595
Kolkata Knight Riders 81 8.28 632
Mumbai Indians 62 8.20 533

Bhuvneshwar was the highest wicket-taker that season and Warner had counted on him for the early breakthroughs and stifling batsmen at the death. Ever since, Bhuvneshwar has become sharper in both areas, especially in the death overs while defending a target.

Which is why, the Sunrisers team management would’ve been pleased when the bowling unit more than made up for Bhuvneshwar’s absence (due to injury) in four games this year. Without him, they defended two sub-140 totals, including 118 against Mumbai Indians at their home ground. Five of their bowlers, who have bowled at least 15 overs, have an economy rate less than eight (the most for any team this season).

Sunrisers' economical bowlers

BOWLER OVERS WICKETS ECONOMY RATE
Sandeep Sharma 23 7 5.26
Siddarth Kaul 40 13 7.05
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 23 7 7.08
Rashid Khan 40 13 7.15
Shakib Al Hasan 36 10 7.55

Another reason for Sunrisers’ dominance this season is their death bowling. Backed by a cool-headed skipper in Kane Williamson, the bowlers have been clinical in the 16-20 overs this season. They have conceded just 361 runs and picked up 26 wickets during that stage so far this season. That’s just over 36 runs (on average) in the last five overs. While defending, they have conceded less than 30.

The idea of leaving it till the last mightn’t work against Sunrisers. But Williamson’s shrewd bowling changes in the middle have forced many teams to take the match to the end. For instance, Rashid Khan, who the best of batsmen (excepting Chris Gayle and Ambati Rayudu) haven’t been able to attack, bowls four of his overs in the middle overs, giving away very little and more often than not breaking a vital partnership.

SRH bowlers: Deadly at the death

TEAMS ECONOMY RATE IN THE LAST FIVE OVERS
Sunrisers Hyderabad 7.50
Mumbai Indians 9.47
Rajasthan Royals 9.72
Delhi Daredevils 9.83
Kings XI Punjab 10
Kolkata Knight Riders 11.05
Chennai Super Kings  11.19
Royal Challengers Bangalore 12.20
Courtesy: @deeputalks / Twitter.

Royal Challengers Bangalore, immediately after the auction, were called the most most dangerous outfit of this year’s IPL because of the battling line up they boasted. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Corey Anderson, Moeen Ali and a few more.

But the bowling of Sunrisers were equally threatening. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan, an improved Siddarth Kaul and Shakib Al Hasan. If one doesn’t get you, the other will. In 20 overs, there’s no space for a batsman to hide against this line-up that constantly stifles.

“Batsmen win you games, bowlers win you tournaments,” Pakistan’s bowling coach Azhar Mahmood had told ESPNCricinfo after winning the Champions Trophy.

RCB’s batting line-up of T20 legends failed to win enough games for their team, but SRH’s bowlers are looking good to win the tournament once again for theirs.

(All stats courtesy IPLt20.com as of May 10, 2018 before the Sunrisers Hyderabad vs Delhi Daredevils match)

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Swara Bhasker: Sharp objects has to be on the radar of every woman who is tired of being “nice”

The actress weighs in on what she loves about the show.

This article has been written by award-winning actor Swara Bhasker.

All women growing up in India, South Asia, or anywhere in the world frankly; will remember in some form or the other that gentle girlhood admonishing, “Nice girls don’t do that.” I kept recalling that gently reasoned reproach as I watched Sharp Objects (you can catch it on Hotstar Premium). Adapted from the author of Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn’s debut novel Sharp Objects has been directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, who has my heart since he gave us Big Little Lies. It stars the multiple-Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who delivers a searing performance as Camille Preaker; and Patricia Clarkson, who is magnetic as the dominating and dark Adora Crellin. As an actress myself, it felt great to watch a show driven by its female performers.

The series is woven around a troubled, alcohol-dependent, self-harming, female journalist Camille (single and in her thirties incidentally) who returns to the small town of her birth and childhood, Wind Gap, Missouri, to report on two similarly gruesome murders of teenage girls. While the series is a murder mystery, it equally delves into the psychology, not just of the principal characters, but also of the town, and thus a culture as a whole.

There is a lot that impresses in Sharp Objects — the manner in which the storytelling gently unwraps a plot that is dark, disturbing and shocking, the stellar and crafty control that Jean-Marc Vallée exercises on his narrative, the cinematography that is fluid and still manages to suggest that something sinister lurks within Wind Gap, the editing which keeps this narrative languid yet sharp and consistently evokes a haunting sensation.

Sharp Objects is also liberating (apart from its positive performance on Bechdel parameters) as content — for female actors and for audiences in giving us female centric and female driven shows that do not bear the burden of providing either role-models or even uplifting messages. 

Instead, it presents a world where women are dangerous and dysfunctional but very real — a world where women are neither pure victims, nor pure aggressors. A world where they occupy the grey areas, complex and contradictory as agents in a power play, in which they control some reigns too.

But to me personally, and perhaps to many young women viewers across the world, what makes Sharp Objects particularly impactful, perhaps almost poignant, is the manner in which it unravels the whole idea, the culture, the entire psychology of that childhood admonishment “Nice girls don’t do that.” Sharp Objects explores the sinister and dark possibilities of what the corollary of that thinking could be.

“Nice girls don’t do that.”

“Who does?”

“Bad girls.”

“So I’m a bad girl.”

“You shouldn’t be a bad girl.”

“Why not?”

“Bad girls get in trouble.”

“What trouble? What happens to bad girls?”

“Bad things.”

“What bad things?”

“Very bad things.”

“How bad?”

“Terrible!!!”

“Like what?”

“Like….”

A point the show makes early on is that both the victims of the introductory brutal murders were not your typically nice girly-girls. Camille, the traumatised protagonist carrying a burden from her past was herself not a nice girl. Amma, her deceptive half-sister manipulates the nice girl act to defy her controlling mother. But perhaps the most incisive critique on the whole ‘Be a nice girl’ culture, in fact the whole ‘nice’ culture — nice folks, nice manners, nice homes, nice towns — comes in the form of Adora’s character and the manner in which beneath the whole veneer of nice, a whole town is complicit in damning secrets and not-so-nice acts. At one point early on in the show, Adora tells her firstborn Camille, with whom she has a strained relationship (to put it mildly), “I just want things to be nice with us but maybe I don’t know how..” Interestingly it is this very notion of ‘nice’ that becomes the most oppressive and deceptive experience of young Camille, and later Amma’s growing years.

This ‘Culture of Nice’ is in fact the pervasive ‘Culture of Silence’ that women all over the world, particularly in India, are all too familiar with. 

It takes different forms, but always towards the same goal — to silence the not-so-nice details of what the experiences; sometimes intimate experiences of women might be. This Culture of Silence is propagated from the child’s earliest experience of being parented by society in general. Amongst the values that girls receive in our early years — apart from those of being obedient, dutiful, respectful, homely — we also receive the twin headed Chimera in the form of shame and guilt.

“Have some shame!”

“Oh for shame!”

“Shameless!”

“Shameful!”

“Ashamed.”

“Do not bring shame upon…”

Different phrases in different languages, but always with the same implication. Shameful things happen to girls who are not nice and that brings ‘shame’ on the family or everyone associated with the girl. And nice folks do not talk about these things. Nice folks go on as if nothing has happened.

It is this culture of silence that women across the world today, are calling out in many different ways. Whether it is the #MeToo movement or a show like Sharp Objects; or on a lighter and happier note, even a film like Veere Di Wedding punctures this culture of silence, quite simply by refusing to be silenced and saying the not-nice things, or depicting the so called ‘unspeakable’ things that could happen to girls. By talking about the unspeakable, you rob it of the power to shame you; you disallow the ‘Culture of Nice’ to erase your experience. You stand up for yourself and you build your own identity.

And this to me is the most liberating aspect of being an actor, and even just a girl at a time when shows like Sharp Objects and Big Little Lies (another great show on Hotstar Premium), and films like Veere Di Wedding and Anaarkali Of Aarah are being made.

The next time I hear someone say, “Nice girls don’t do that!”, I know what I’m going to say — I don’t give a shit about nice. I’m just a girl! And that’s okay!

Swara is a an award winning actor of the Hindi film industry. Her last few films, including Veere Di Wedding, Anaarkali of Aaraah and Nil Battey Sannata have earned her both critical and commercial success. Swara is an occasional writer of articles and opinion pieces. The occasions are frequent :).

Watch the trailer of Sharp Objects here:

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This article was published by the Scroll marketing team with Swara Bhasker on behalf of Hotstar Premium and not by the Scroll editorial team.