In the sixth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) won the toss and opted to field against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
David Warner’s side made two changes as Jason Holder and Shahbaz Nadeem are in the squad and Mohammad Nabi and Sandeep Sharma aren’t playing.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Playing XI): Wriddhiman Saha(w), David Warner(c), Manish Pandey, Jonny Bairstow, Vijay Shankar, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Shahbaz Nadeem.
However, there is one player who is missing from the playing squad – Kane Williamson. One of the top performers for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2020, the New Zealand skipper has missed out on his team’s second consecutive match in the 14th edition.
So why is the Kiwi captain not part of the playing XI?
According to media reports, Kane Williamson is yet to recover from a strain he had sustained in his left elbow in March this year. He had even sat out during New Zealand’s ODI series against Bangladesh.
Sunrisers Hyderabad started their IPL 2021 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and lost by 10 runs. Kane Williamson was not part of the squad even then and England’s Jonny Bairstow played in the middle-order in his place.
Post the match, SRH coach Trevor Bayliss revealed that although Williamson was above Bairstow in the pecking order, the former needed more rest and time to get up to speed.
“We just felt that Kane needed a little bit of extra time to get match fit and a little bit more time in the nets. He would have played in place of Jonny Bairstow obviously if that had occurred. But we aren’t too perturbed about that, Jonny has been in form recently in white-ball cricket in India. Kane will obviously come into calculations as the tournament unfolds,” said Bayliss.
As for Bairstow, despite not being the first choice, he notched up a gutsy half-century (55 off 40 balls) against KKR.