IPL 2022: Sunrisers Rising, Narine’s Transformation, and Maxwell’s Evolution

Sunrisers Might Have a Half Decent Side This Year

Whisper it very quietly, but the Sunrisers might even have a half decent side this year. Even writing that seems a bit of a leap of faith in a team that was rock bottom last year and hasn’t finished higher than eighth since 2020.

The evidence, however, is growing. After brutalizing a Bengaluru bowling attack for 287 (the second-highest T20 total ever), they now own the second-highest scores in IPL history. Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma have formed an utterly terrifying opening partnership, Aiden Markram is the glue in the middle, and Heinrich Klaasen is probably the best hitter at the death in the world right now.

Their bowlers have had to bowl on some flat pitches, but Pat Cummins has done so admirably and made the difference in high-scoring matches. Everyone is understandably getting very excited about them, but it’s wise to wait and see if they can keep performing into May, when it really matters.

Sunil Narine: T20 Cult Hero

Meanwhile, let’s all stop for a moment and appreciate the incredible cricketer and T20 cult hero that is Sunil Narine. If he got any more laid back, he’d be horizontal. Many thought the decision by KKR to try him at the top of the order a few years ago was an ill-fated experiment never to be repeated. It wasn’t, and Narine seems to have transformed himself into a batting powerhouse, evidenced by his first T20 century in his 504th match.

Glenn Maxwell’s Selfless Act

From one enigma to another, Glenn Maxwell’s IPL has been the polar opposite to Narine’s. After averaging just five in six innings, Maxwell spoke to the Royal Challengers’ management and suggested his spot be given to someone else, as he wasn’t playing well enough. This selfless act deserves a lot of credit, as it shows Maxwell’s value to the team and his evolution into a great teammate.

Matheesha Pathirana: A Match-Winner for Super Kings

It’s been a batter’s tournament so far, but Matheesha Pathirana has shown he can be a match-winner for the Super Kings with the ball. His action is about as close to Lasith Malinga as you can get, and he’s probably quicker than Lasith ever was, with a similarly devastating yorker. It’s comforting to see unconventional bowlers still occasionally able to bamboozle batters when the pressure is on.

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