Former champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) missed out on the spot in the final after succumbing to a 17-run loss against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Qualifier 2 of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs on Sunday. Nonetheless, they have virtually managed to claim the bronze medal, as having finished in the third place.

SRH were off to an inconsistent start to the tournament this season. However, they picked up the pace at the latter stage of the tournament, while wins by big margins allowed them to possess the second-best Net Run-Rate (NRR) this season.

The 2016 champions were being backed as one of the favourites in the playoffs to travel to the final. Nonetheless, despite their tough luck, we take a look at their classic season and analyse what could have they done better.

Batting: The batting line-up was undoubtedly dominated by skipper David Warner, who scored the most runs for the side, 548 in 16 innings at an average of 39.14, including four half-centuries. Also, he was duly supported by Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson. While uncapped Priyam Garg, too, tried to impress with a couple of performances, he fell short towards the end, along with Abdul Samad, whereas fellow uncapped Virat Singh and Bavanaka Sandeep did not earn a game.
Top performers: Warner, Pandey, Williamson.

All-rounders: The department had a void, as Mitchell Marsh missed out due to an injury. Nonetheless, it was headlined by Windies's Jason Holder, who fired at the latter stage of the tournament. He was effective with the ball, claiming 14 from seven games at an economy of 8.32. Also, Vijay Shankar was decent in both departments. Nonetheless, Afghanistan's Mohammad Nabi could play just a game, while uncapped Abhishek Sharma did try his best in eight games, only to be lacklustre. Meanwhile, fellow uncapped Sanjay Yadav did not game a game time, along with Windies's Fabian Allen.
Top performers: Holder.

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Wicketkeeping: A couple of players headlined the department. England's Jonny Bairstow was the top performer here, scoring 345 runs in 11 innings at an average of 31.36, including three half-centuries. As for his wicketkeeping, he was decent, claiming seven catches and inflicting eight dismissals. Furthermore, Wriddhiman Saha was the surprise package with the bat, as in just four games, he scored 214 runs at the best team average of 71.33, including a couple of half-centuries. Uncapped Shreevats Goswami did get a game, but failed to get on the scoring sheet.
Top performers: Bairstow and Saha.

Spin-bowling: The spin department had one performer, who happened to be a titan. It was Afghanistan's Rashid Khan, who finished as the side's highest wicket-taker, claiming 20 in 16 matches at the best team economy of just 5.37. While the other guy, Shahbaz Nadeem, did play seven games, he was not as effective.
Top performers: Rashid.

Pace-bowling: The department too had a void, as seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out with a thigh injury after four games. Nonetheless, it was an uncapped Indian who surprised us all. T Natarajan claimed the most, with 16 wickets from 16 matches, at an economy of 8.02. He was followed by Sandeep Sharma and Khaleel Ahmed, who were conventional. Among other, Siddarth Kaul and Basil Thampi were unimpressive, while Billy Stanlake and uncapped Prithvi Raj Yarra did not receive game time.
Top performers: Natarajan, Sandeep, Khaleel.

Fielding: SRH's fielding was lacklustre throughout the tournament, and was evident during Qualifier 2 against DC, where they dropped three crucial catches, which turned out to be a deciding factor in the game. Nonetheless, it was Warner, who had the best hands in the field, pocketing 12 catches, with a per match catch rate of 0.75. Pandey, Williamson, Garg and Samad followed him.
Top performers: Warner.

What could have they done better?
All-rounders: SRH have the best all-round department of all. Frankly, they should have utilised it better. While Holder was late to fire, giving more game time to Nabi instead of a misfiring Shankar would have been useful. Also, offering a chance to Allen or Sanjay, instead of an inconsistent Abhishek, would have been ideal to check them out.
Fielding: Undoubtedly, a department where they need to work upon in the coming days, along with fielding coach Biju George. Not just the catches, but standard fielding needs to be looked upon too, especially in the dewy conditions, which made things difficult for the side this season.