KKR vs SRH: Pat Cummins reveals the strategist behind Shahbaz Ahmed's inclusion in 'Qualifier 2'

Published - 25 May 2024, 03:17 PM | Updated - 25 May 2024, 03:18 PM

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins (Image Credits: Twitter)

SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper Pat Cummins revealed the mastermind behind Shahbaz Ahmed's inclusion in the 'Qualifier 2' match against the Rajasthan Royals (RR). Pat Cummins stated that head coach Daniel Vettori suggested utilizing Shahbaz Ahmed as an 'Impact Player' in the knockout encounter.

SunRisers Hyderabad defeated the Rajasthan Royals by 36 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday, May 24. The Orange Army secured a berth in the final match of the ongoing tournament. The Pat Cummins-led team outplayed the opposition team with their spin attack in the match.

Shahbaz Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma were instrumental in SunRisers Hyderabad's recent victory. Shahbaz was not part of the initial playing XI but was included as an 'Impact Substitute'. Ahmed picked up three wickets for 23 runs in his four overs, while Abhishek secured two wickets in his full-over quota.

Wanted As Many Left-Arm Orthodox As Possible - Pat Cummins

After the game, Pat Cummins revealed that he decided to introduce Shahbaz Ahmed as an impact substitute after Daniel Vettori's advice. Cummins stated that Vettori wanted as many left-arm orthodox bowlers as possible in the squad.

"That was Vettori's choice, left-arm orthodox and wanted as many left-arm orthodox as possible," Cummins said.

The Pat Cummins-led team scored 175 runs after being asked to bat first. Hyderabad lost three wickets inside the powerplay but scored 68 runs. However, the SRH team collapsed to 120/6 in 14 overs. Shahbaz Khan joined Heinrich Klaasen at the crease. The duo added 43 runs for the seventh wicket.

Shahbaz scored 18 runs off 18 deliveries with the help of one maximum before being dismissed in the final over. The 29-year-old was named 'Player of the Match' for his all-round contributions in the must-win encounter.

That Was A Surprise - Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins expressed surprise at Shahbaz Ahmed's impactful bowling performance. He credited Ahmed and Abhishek Sharma for their crucial roles in the middle overs. Cummins praised the team's strength in bowling, comprising Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, and Jaydev Unadkat.

“That was a surprise, tried to stick one out of him with a couple of right-handers and he bowled beautifully and those two won it with their bowling in the middle overs. We knew our strength was our batting and we wouldn't underestimate the experience we have in this squad, it's a dream having Bhuvi, Nattu and Unadkat, makes my job easy," Cummins added.

Sanju Samson and his team heavily relied on the dew factor during their batting. However, this strategy backfired as the ball started gripping viciously during the run chase. The Jaipur-based team could only score 139 runs in 20 overs. They missed out on an opportunity to secure their second IPL title.

The final match between the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and SunRisers Hyderabad will take place at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday, May 26. The Knight Riders have secured two titles in their history, while the Hyderabad-based team has won one title trophy.

Also read: T20 World Cup 2024: Sanju Samson torn apart by Sunil Gavaskar after RR exits IPL 2024