IPL 2021: Takeaways from one-sided clash between Sunrisers and Punjab Kings

 Sunrisers Hyderabad finally opened their account in IPL 2021 on Wednesday. David Warner’s team came up with a complete performance to thrash Punjab Kings by nine wickets. After batting first Punjab managed to score only 120 runs. Despite stuttering, while chasing in the previous three games, SRH managed to chase down this total comfortably.

Even though this was SRH’s first win in IPL 2021, the margin of victory made sure that they improved the net run rate and move to the fifth position in the points table. Punjab has a lot of soul searching to do as they yet again start the new season in the worse possible manner. Despite the game turning out to be a one-sided affair, there were some key takeaways for both teams from Wednesday.

Khaleel Ahmed needs to bring consistency in his game

Khaleel Ahmed once again got an opportunity for Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday, and he made the most of it. The left-arm pacer delivered a match-winning spell by taking three wickets for 21 runs in four overs. He took the important wicket of Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order, while wickets of Shahrukh Khan and Fabian Allen completely broke Punjab Kings.

The next step for Ahmed is to maintain this consistency in his performances. Left-arm pacers are a rare entity, so he needs to make the most of it. A consistent IPL 2021 will help Khaleel Ahmed to strengthen his case of making a return to the Indian T-20 team. Avoiding this performance to be an anomaly should be on the agenda for the young pacer.

Punjab Kings’ batting line-up continues to blow hot and cold

On paper, Punjab Kings has one of the most devastating batting line-ups. However, games are not won on paper. The complete batting line-up blows hot and cold, restricting the team from stitching a run of victories.

KL Rahul has scored the majority of runs in IPL 2021 for Punjab Kings, but he was dismissed early in the innings. In his absence, the rest of the batsmen just fell like a pack of cards. Sunrisers bowled well on a tricky surface in Chennai, but Punjab Kings could have definitely done more to score at least 150, which could have turned out to be an extremely competitive total. As long as there is no consistency in the batting unit of Punjab, they are unlikely to move upwards in the points table.

Jonny Bairstow’s form key to Sunrisers’ hope to qualify for playoffs

Jonny Bairstow is one of the most destructive batsmen in white-ball cricket. He can change the game on its heads with his brilliance. On Wednesday, Bairstow took a quieter approach in batting and made sure that he was at the crease until the end.

Coming back from a successful series against India, Bairstow has played all four games in IPL 2021 for Sunrisers. He played a blinder against Mumbai Indians to set up the chase, but other batsmen couldn’t finish the job. SRH should make sure that they compliment Bairstow in the batting unit like David Warner and Kane Williamson did on Wednesday to have a strong chance of qualifying for the playoffs in IPL 2021.

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