Winners in 2016, the Sunrisers Hyderabad have successfully made it to the IPL Playoffs ever since, that is before 2021, when their campaign came to a screeching halt following an abysmal showing. With just two wins from 12 matches, SRH sit right down at the bottom of the points table, all set to take home the wooden spoon and were the first team eliminated from this year.
With SRH producing a disappointing campaign, a lot of it revolved around former captain David Warner. During the India leg, Warner was stripped of the team’s captaincy with Kane Williamson taking charge, but it did little to change SRH’s fortunes. After being dropped from SRH’s last match of the first half, Warner returned to play the first two games of the UAE leg, where he produced scores of 0 and 2 before being dropped again.
In desperate need to shake things up, SRH called up Jason Roy, whom they had picked at the players auction earlier this year, and although it did not do much to turn things around for SRH since it was too late, the England opener coming on board drew some improvement on the team. Former England captain weighed in on the addition of Roy and feels that watching the explosive batsman getting a chance is like a breath of fresh air.
“For Jason Roy to replace him and make a half-century in his first match, though, was very pleasing. We see things happening out here that you guys don’t. Roy is committed to training, committed to the warm-up for every match and has thrown himself into IPL life,” Pietersen wrote in his blog for Betway Insider.
Roy, who had played only 11 matches in the previous three seasons combined, opened his IPL 2021 campaign with a sparkling half-century against the Rajasthan Royals in Dubai, a game which SRH won by seven wickets. Pietersen reveals how Roy had expressed his displeasure after having to sit out the first nine matches, but was determined to make his experience at the SRH camp count.
“I spoke to him after the first two games and he was bitterly disappointed not to be playing, but he just said: ‘Listen, I’m here, and this is great preparation for the T20 World Cup’. He’d been practicing his backside off and now he’s got his chance, which is great news for Sunrisers and for England,” Pietersen added.