Jason Roy should start ahead of Warner for SRH, feels Mark Butcher

Former England batsman Mark Butcher feels South Africa-born England cricketer Jason Roy will start ahead of Australia’s David Warner when Sunrisers Hyderabad take on Delhi Capitals here later on Wednesday.

The two teams will play their opening match of the second phase of the IPL here and while Delhi Capitals are placed comfortably on 12 points from eight games, Sunrisers Hyderabad are scraping the bottom with two points, having won just one match so far.

“Jason Roy was looking in terrific form in the backend of England’s white-ball series over in the UK. He’s going to be very hungry. At the moment, Roy has the edge right now over someone like (David) Warner. So, that’s the way I would go in with that one,” said Butcher.

“Sunrisers Hyderabad have had some glory years with that combination of Tom Moody and Warner at the top of the innings with Warner as captain. You heart thinks nostalgically about what that pairing was able to do and how they got along,” Butcher said on cricket.com’s ‘Man vs Machine’ on Tuesday.

Warner was removed as Sunrisers skipper midway through the India leg of the tournament as New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was given the reins of the side. Butcher feels Warner might not find a place in the XI and with Jonny Bairstow deciding to pull out of the IPL, Jason Roy should be the SRH think-tank’s choice to replace Bairstow in the XI.

As far as the statistics go, Sunrisers have defeated Delhi Capitals twice in Dubai in the IPL and the former England batsman feels the Hyderabad franchise would like to make it a hattrick of wins.

The heartening new for the Delhi franchise is that Shreyas Iyer is fit and raring to go. Iyer, who guided the side to the IPL 2020 final, will not be leading the side as wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant has been entrusted the job.

“I doubt Shreyas Iyer will be all that worried about leaving the captaincy with Rishabh Pant. Quite nice to come back in and focus on your own game. He has scored mountain of runs in T20 cricket since 2019 – over 2,000 – only Shikhar Dhawan and Marcus Stoinis have scored more. He is in good shape and I don’t think it is going to bother him one little bit that Pant keeps the captaincy.”

Butcher also feels that South African bowler Kagiso Rabad will dump his bad patch and shine in the matches to come in Dubai.

“A class player will always prove you wrong in the end. For that reason, I think Ricky Ponting will stick with him for now. But he does have replacements – Someone like Umesh Yadav – possibly won’t be in the starting XI, but is a good replacement and frees up another spot for the overseas players,” Butcher, who has played 71 Tests, said.

“But I would imagine Rabada would keep his spot and Ricky would keep a close eye on how he might change things if Rabada doesn’t come good. But when you’re that good a player you come good eventually and you make pundits like me look very stupid at some point in the future and Rabada would do that if I drop him now,” he further added.