That Sunrisers Hyderabad turned over a new leaf to enter the IPL 2020 playoffs has a lot to do with plenty of significant contributions. After a quiet start to the series, David Warner finally hit form and found a brilliant opening partner in Wriddhiman Saha, who notched up two half-centuries from four games. In order to win their final three league matches to enter the playoffs, not only did Sunrisers do that convincingly, they eliminated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator to book a place in the Qualifier.
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However, one of their very important contributors is someone who wasn’t even supposed to play the IPL. West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder, was holidaying with his family when he was named the replacement for the injured Mitchell Marsh. In six matches, Holder has played a crucial role in SRH’s turnaround, taking 13 wickets and scoring vital runs down the order. And to think that Holder almost did not make it to an IPL team this year.
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Former India batsman Gautam Gambhir said he was surprised to see Holder go unsold at the IPL 2020 auction last December, even as there was solid bidding war for some of the all-rounders around the world. Gambhir believes that Holder, playing for West Indies, is well-equipped to handling pressure situations, hence it shouldn’t surprise people seeing him acing nail-biting finishes for SRH.
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“It was very surprising for me that no one actually went after someone like Jason Holder. Jimmy Neesham was picked, Chris Morris was picked, other allrounders were picked. But Holder, who plays two formats, continues to play international cricket for a team which struggles in a Test and One-Day format. So you’re always under the pump, always under pressure to deliver,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo.
“When you’re in such a situation most of the time in international cricket, obviously you know how to handle that pressure and that is something which we’ve always spoken about, how important it is for overseas players to handle the pressure of the IPL.”
His exploits against RCB was a fine example of how level-headed Holder is in tense situations. He and Kane Williamson added an unbeaten 65-run partnership and saw SRH through. With nine required off the last over, after Williamson took a single to finish the over, Holder missed a ball before striking back-to-back fours to seal the win. This was after he had already claimed 3/25 with the ball.
“He captains an international side, so we shouldn’t forget that. He plays international cricket continuously. He plays two out of the three formats. So he’s done what he was supposed to. Started off well with the new ball, took two important wickets and conceded just 6.25 an over. What more can you expect from your overseas allrounder?” Gambhir pointed out.