NATIONAL cricket team captain Brendan Taylor remains a spectator for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the thrilling 2014 Pepsi India Premier League, with only four games group matches to play.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
Following his historic signing for the Hyderabad side during the IPL auction, becoming only the third Zimbabwean after Tatenda Taibu and Raymond Price to sign an IPL contract, Taylor is yet to earn his much-anticipated debut appearance in the most lucrative cricket league.
United with Tom Moody who coached him at the Sri-Lanka Premier League, where he kept the wicket in all the matches and batted up the order, the Zimbabwe captain has found it difficult to earn a starting place.
Factors that may have diminished his chances of impressing Moody include a poor showing at the T20 World Cup, Zimbabwe’s relative inactivity on the international stage, as well as joining the team late due to his wedding.
Fifth placed Sunrisers have already played 10 of the 14 allotted group matches and are left with only four matches as Taylor awaits a maiden first 11 spot.
The fact that Indian native, Naman Ojha has been impressive with both gloves and bat does not help the cause for the Zimbabwean captain.
Fresh from a shocking defeat to table toppers King XI Punjab, Sunrisers face an in-form Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who are on a high following back-to-back victories.
Sunrisers have earned eight points from 10 matches and suffered successive losses against Mumbai Indians on May 12 and Kings XI Punjab on May 14 at their home ground, which makes it important for the team to win against KKR.
Moody’s men set a mammoth target of 205 runs in the match against Punjab, but it was chased down by the formidable batting line up of Punjab.
The effortless chase raised some concerns about the efficacy of Sunrisers’ bowling attack comprising some of the best in the world and at home including Dale Steyn, West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy, Australian Moises Henriques, and proven Indians Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma.