Former Indian spinner Murali Kartik believes that SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) erred tactically by holding back Heinrich Klaasen in their IPL 2023 clash against Mumbai Indians (MI) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Tuesday, April 18.
While chasing a stiff 193-run target, Hyderabad decided to send Klaasen at No. 6 and Washington Sundar at No. 9. Kartik criticized the move, suggesting that the team management is adding pressure on these batters by sending them late.
Speaking to Cricbuzz after SRH’s 14-run loss to MI, Kartik said:
“If you look at Hyderabad’s batting order, it seems as if they are adding pressure on their own players. What are they going to achieve by holding back Heinrich Klaasen and Washington Sundar. I don’t understand this concept of making things more difficult. I don’t see any cricketing sense in what they were trying to do.”
Klaasen showcased impressive form against Mumbai and was the only saving grace for Hyderabad. The South African smashed 36 runs off 16 deliveries, putting his team in the driver’s seat. However, once he got out, the pendulum once again swung in Mumbai’s favor.
During the discussion, Virender Sehwag lauded Klaasen for his explosive knock. Echoing the same sentiments as Kartik, the former Indian batter also opined that Sundar should have batted higher in the order, adding:
“Harry Brook and Aiden Markram were the only in-form players Hyderabad had. Heinrich Klaasen showed his class in this game, especially with his big hits off Piyush Chawala.
“They should have considered sending Washington Sundar a bit earlier because he has done well with the bat for India. He could have come ahead of Abdul Samad. Marco Jansen also came in too late, considering that he can also hit the ball a long way.”
With just two wins from five games, SRH are currently languishing in the penultimate position in the IPL 2023 points table.
“Don’t think he would have taken them to victory” – Virender Sehwag on SRH opener Mayank Agarwal
Virender Sehwag further stated that while Mayank Agarwal was still at the crease when Heinrich Klaasen got out, the Indian batter was struggling to get going.
Agarwal mustered 48 runs off 41 balls against MI. Sehwag reckons that SRH would have lost the encounter even if the opening batter had scored 60-odd runs, given his ordinary strike rate.
The cricketer-turned-commentator emphasized that Klaasen needed to bat till the end to seal the game for his side, elaborating:
“Mumbai got the upper hand when Heinrich Klaasen got out. Hyderabad didn’t have any big hitters after that who could have won them the game. Yes, Mayank Agarwal was at the crease at the time, but I don’t think he would have taken them to victory, considering his form.
“He would have scored 60-70 runs if he was there till the end, but Hyderabad still would not have won. Klaasen was the only one who could have done it. He played a poor shot. Didn’t know why he did it, given that he had already hit two fours and sixes in the same over.
Murali Kartik also urged Agarwal to come up with improved performances with the bat. He highlighted that the right-handed batter must give SRH a better start. The 46-year-old remarked:
“Mayank Agarwal will have to work on his game. A team has invested in you and has high hopes. You’d want to play with the right tempo at the start. He is a very good player and we all want him to do well.”
Agarwal, who was signed by SRH for ₹8.25 crore, has amassed 113 runs from five IPL 2023 games at a strike rate of 108.65.