IPL 2020 : Wriddhiman Saha’s inclusion in SRH XI has turned out to be biggest Masterstorke of IPL 2020

Sunrisers Qualify for IPL 2020 Playoffs with a masterstroke. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH’s) opening batsman Wriddhiman Saha has been a revelation in IPL 2020 and a  gamechanger for the franchise. But just imagine in the first 11 games franchise played Saha was just played in 1 match.

Saha was brought into the squad with only three games left in the league stage replacing England’s World cup hero Jonny Bairstow and became one of the key reason for SRH securing the playoffs spot.

SRH was in a crunch situation in a bid to secure the playoffs spot and Wriddhiman Saha’s arrival completely overturned their fortunes.

The right-hander, who had to spend majority of the tournament on the sidelines looked in form right from the start registering scores of 87, 39 and 58* in his last three innings and has been exceptional behind the stumps to play an instrumental role in SRH’s playoffs qualifications.

IPL 2020: Why SRH sacrificed Jonny Bairstow for Saha?

Bairstow has scored 345 runs in 11 innings during this year’s IPL, including a match-winning 97 from 55 balls against Kings XI Punjab.

But the 31-year-old was a surprise absentee for Sunrisers against Delhi on Tuesday, with Bayliss confirming he was left out for tactical reasons.

Wriddhiman Saha was moved up the order in replace of Bairstow and smashed 87 from 45 balls and shared a 107-run opening stand with Warner in a must win tie against Delhi Capitals.

Also, specialist wicketkeepers are a rare breed in T20 cricket. Wriddhiman Saha is an exception, his glovework making him stand out. Positioning, alertness, reading the ball off the bowlers’ hands, reflexes, and stable and safe hands define his wicketkeeping.

Those skilsset came into play on the final league game against Mumbai Indians as Saha contributed to two key Mumbai wickets and justifed his spot in the Playing XI.

IPL 2020: Wriddhiman Saha’s influence in the batting lineup and skipper David Warner

In the first 11 matches this IPL, Warner’s strike rate was 127, well below the standards set by the Sunrisers captain in the previous editions. In the three matches, he has opened with Saha, though, Warner’s strike rate has spiked to almost 164 as he has scored 159 runs with two half-centuries.

Warner and Saha are the only openers this IPL to score half-centuries in the same game on two occasions – they did that in the win against the Delhi Capitals and today against the Mumbai Indians.

Saha’s free strokeplay against all kinds of bowling has allowed Warner to play his natural, aggressor’s role. Even though it is only in the two matches where the Warner-Saha combination has blossomed, but both these were must-win games for the Sunrisers. Both against the Capitals and today against a depleted Mumbai Indians attack, Warner and Saha started off strongly and pulled away from the opposition.

Warner once again displayed his ruthless attitude, which has made him possibly the best batsman in the tournament’s history. And Warner would admit Saha’s contribution to his success.