Multi-million dollar signings Jhye Richardson and Riley Meredith have been given a brutal reality check after a stunning snub in the Indian Premier League.
The Aussie bowlers were snapped up by the Punjab Kings for eye-watering seven figure sums at the IPL auction, but they couldn't even make the starting XI in their side's latest defeat in the competition.
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The Kings paid $2.48 million for Richardson and $1.42 million for Meredith but ruthlessly left both fast bowlers out of their side for the clash against David Warner's Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Punjab instead opted for allrounders Moises Henriques and Fabian Allen, with Punjab captain KL Rahul insisting the conditions in Chennai dictated the surprising move.
“We know who our core group is, there will be one or two changes according to conditions,” Rahul explained.
“The players have been given their roles. The more games we play, we’ll get better. There are youngsters and we need to give them some time to get used to the pressure of the IPL.”
Richardson came into this season's IPL on the back of an incredible Big Bash tournament in Australia where he finished as the highest wicket-taker, with 29 dismissals at 16.31.
Meredith's signing saw him become the most expensive uncapped player in IPL history, but he and Richardson have struggled to find their feet after the opening three games, taking just five wickets between them at 44.40.
Richardson endured a nightmare debut outing for the franchise after finishing with figures of 1/55 against the Rajasthan Royals.
Punjab's decision to leave the pair out of the Hyderabad showdown ultimately backfired as Warner's side finally celebrated their first win in this season's competition after beating Punjab by nine wickets.
Sunrisers finally get off the mark
Warner had captained his side to three straight defeats and was relieved to play a significant role with the bat in Hyderabad's comfortable victory with an over and two balls to spare.
Chasing only 121 to win after fine work by his bowlers, Warner helped his English opening colleague Jonny Bairstow in a 73-run opening stand which broke the back of the pursuit.
Punjab had folded for 120 in 19.4 overs after captain Lokesh Rahul won the toss and elected to bat.
"It was very pleasing," Warner said. "The bowlers did a fantastic job to reduce them."
Bairstow's unbeaten 63 off 56 balls ensured Hyderabad didn't face another run-chasing hiccup as they ended up cruising to 1-121 in 18.4 overs.
Kane Williamson had recovered from a troublesome elbow which kept the New Zealand captain out of previous three games and, along with Bairstow, guided them to victory with his 16 not out off 19 balls.
Warner, who hit three fours and a six in his run-a-ball 37, had yet again given Hyderabad a strong start before holing out in the deep while going for a big shot against left-arm spinner Fabian Allen.
Earlier, Punjab's top-order batsmen continued to struggle - especially West Indies duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran.
The pair were dismissed before the halfway mark and left their team in trouble at 4-47 in the ninth over.
Gayle was trapped leg before wicket for 15 by Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan and Pooran was out for his third score of zero in four innings when he was run out without facing a ball.
Fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed, who had earlier removed opening batsman Mayank Agarwal (22), took two late wickets to finish with 3-21, while leftarm spinner Abhishek Sharma took 2-24.
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