Explained: Why is Abdul Samad still part of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s playing XI?

Mohsin Kamal

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Srinagar, October 27: After seeing Sunrisers Hyderabad’s playing XI against Delhi Capitals today, most of you might have thought why is Abdul Samad still in the team despite ‘not doing well’ in previous matches.

The answer is simple: he has done better than what his scorecard reads. How?

In the seven matches so far, the young cricketer, who likes to go after the ball, has made 78 runs at an average of 19.5. This doesn’t sound satisfactory from a player of a level like IPL. But let’s decode his stats, match by match.

He started his IPL journey on September 29 by making his debut against Delhi Capitals. The right-handed batsman walked to bat at number 7 and ended up making unbeaten 12 runs. In match second, he again batted late, making 8 not-out.

His third outing came against Mumbai Indians, where Hyderabad was chasing a huge total. Again at number 7. This time he made an impression, hitting Jasprit Bumrah, India’s bowling spearhead, a couple of sixes and a four before getting dismissed on 20 runs in the 19th over.

Then, against Kings XI Punjab, he was promoted to number three as SRH had got off to a good start. However, as he came to bat, they lost three quick wickets, which meant a bundle of dot balls followed. This made him take risk, which seemed unnecessary to audience, but that is what he was sent to do.

This meant he was dropped from the playing XI. A few matches passed and Hyderabad thought they were lacking a finisher. As Samad is a clean-striker of the cricket ball, he was recalled to the team.

On his return, the J&K cricketer played a vital cameo of 23 runs off 15 balls to help SRH gain momentum in their chase against Kolkata Knight Riders. The match was tied.

He was sent to bat in the super-over following Warner’s dismissal on the very first ball. He though was also bowled on third ball, meaning Hyderabad lost the match. But Samad had, to some extent, done his job. He was sent to smash it out. He failed. And that went okay with the franchise, it seemed as they continued with him in the playing XI.

Next match, he didn’t bat as Sunrisers posted an easy victory. Now, comes the match, which people assumed would be his last.

Sunrisers were chasing a small total of 126 runs as Kings XI. Samad was promoted to number 4 with SRH looking in a comfortable position. However, the youngster after scoring a four off Mohammed Shami, tried to loft a slight over-pitched delivery to fence through long-off region. But Chris Jordan took a good catch at mid-off, leaving both Samad and SRH in trouble.

Yes, he could have chosen to stick around and shown some patience before taking the aerial root. But what if he was sent to finish it off? No doubt, he failed, but didn’t he do what he was asked to.

After his what appeared as a failure, people on social media showed anger, and assumed the franchise will no more pick him in the first XI. Yet, Sunrisers surely had better plans.

They very well know what Abdul Samad is capable of, and hasn’t disppsointed them, to an extent, it appears to fans. This match though is not just crucial for the young lad as the franchise continues with him, but for Sunrisers as well to stay in the competition.

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