Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach and former West Indies legend Brian Lara remained non-committal on Friday about appointing opener Mayank Agarwal as the team’s captain after the 2016 IPL champions recruited the former Punjab Kings captain during the IPL 2023 mini-player auction.
Agarwal’s promotion to captain in the 2022 season didn’t quite go as per plan, as the runs from his bat seemed to dry up. In what was a rather lacklustre season instead, he managed just 196 runs in 13 matches at an average of 16.33, as Punjab ended sixth in the league. Agarwal was sacked from the franchise after Shikhar Dhawan was selected captain in November.
“I think that’s unfair to say. We have got a couple of senior players around the squad already. Personally, I think he has leadership qualities, but so do have other players in the squad. That is a decision we haven’t taken as yet and with the auction not being over, we are not sure yet of the remaining players we will have,”Lara said.
Hyderabad also made a significant investment in England hitter Harry Brook, who made his T20I debut earlier this year against the West Indies. He averaged 26.57 with a strike rate of 137.77 in 17 innings and was a member of England’s T20 World Cup-winning side in Australia. He was recently named Player of the Series in England’s 3-0 Test series victory in Pakistan, when he scored three hundreds. Hyderabad paid a massive Rs.13.50 Crore for the youngster.
Lara also mentioned that the Sunrisers looked to make specialist picks in the auction and targeted very specific roles, given that the upcoming IPL season will feature the Impact Player rule for the very first time, allowing teams to make one strategic substitution per game.
“Also, with the impact player rule, it allows us to look at specialists instead of an all-rounder as due to that, we can replace batter with bowler and bowler with batter. That gives us flexibility in picking specialists for each spot,”he remarked.