It remains unclear as of now who the “selectors” Warner was referring to are
Dropping Manish Pandey from the Sunrisers Hyderabad XI was a “harsh call”, according to captain David Warner. It was a decision made by the team’s “selectors”, Warner said following their Super Over loss to the Delhi Capitals in Chennai on Sunday night.
“It was a harsh call in my opinion. But at the end of the day, it is a decision of the selectors to do that,” Warner said at the post-match presentation when asked about Pandey’s absence.
Pandey’s replacement, 23-year-old Virat Singh, managed 4 off 14 balls on a sticky Chepauk surface, where he was not the only batter to struggle in a chase of 160. “You can’t discredit Virat. He’s a very good player and on this surface, not getting too much time out there, it’s very difficult,” Warner said. “They [the Capitals bowlers] bowled fantastic through the middle and made it challenging for us.”
It remains unclear as of now who the “selectors” Warner was referring to are. Among the big names on the Sunrisers’ support staff are director of cricket Tom Moody, head coach Trevor Bayliss, assistant coach Brad Haddin, batting mentor VVS Laxman and bowling mentor Muttiah Muralitharan, who had left the IPL bubble earlier in the tournament to get treatment for a blocked artery.
Pandey has played three games so far this season, all in Chennai where scoring has been far from free-flowing, beginning with 61 not out off 44 against the Kolkata Knight Riders. In the next two games, he could not find momentum, his strike rate plunging below 100 in knocks of 38 off 39 and 2 off seven.
In all, he has played 46 games for the Sunrisers since he joined them in 2018, scoring 1154 runs at 33.94 and a strike rate of 123.81. Last season, in the UAE, he was the team’s second-highest scorer, behind Warner, with 425 runs at 32.69 and a strike rate of 127.62.
The Sunrisers now sit in seventh place on the points table, having lost four out of five games. Their next game is against current table-toppers Chennai Super Kings on April 28, in Delhi.