Hyderabad: Sunrisers Hyderabad have always been consistent performers in the Indian Premier League. After their debut in 2013, they went on to win the title in 2016 and entered the playoffs in every season thereafter. In fact, they have the best win-loss percentage after Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
They came close to winning their second title in 2018 before going down to Chennai Super Kings despite not having their batting mainstay David Warner, who was banned for a year because of his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
He was removed from captaincy and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson was given reins. However, Warner has been reinstated as the Sunrisers captain for this season. They bought all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Fabian Allen in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who is serving a year ban.
Warner has been Sunrisers’ prolific run-getter in IPL. He has won the Orange Cap thrice and is the only batsman in the history of IPL to score 500 plus runs in five seasons. However, that has been teams’ problem as well.
They are more dependent on Warner and their top order consisting Jonny Bairstow, who joined the team last season, and Williamson. Bairstow and Warner formed a deadly combination at the top. Bairstow, who played only 10 matches in the season, scored 445 runs.
Both these batsmen aggregated 1,137 runs registering seven half-century stands, and four of them are above 100. In fact, they hold the best opening partnership in IPL history with 185 runs against RCB. Both slammed centuries in the match.
Kane Williamson, one of the finest craftsmen of the game, is likely to come at No.3 and he was SRH’s main run-getter in the absence of Warner in 2018 scoring more than 700 runs that saw them enter the final. However, after the top three, the batting looks weak.
With Manish Pandey’s inconsistent show and the lack of explosive batting skills from Wriddihman Saha, Vijay Shankar proved to be their Achilles heel in close matches.
Pandey, who was the first Indian to score an IPL century, had a decent season with 344 runs but he needs to take more responsibility, especially in the absence of power hitters down the order.
Hyderabad’s busy left-hander B Sandeep gets a chance to play in IPL after his impressive all-round show in Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament last year.
SRH have also included talented youngsters in Virat Singh, Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma who are known for big hitting.
Whenever the situation was tight or the batsmen failed to score big, it was their canny bowling unit that won them the matches. The pack, led by shrewd Bhuvneshwar Kumar and leggie Rashi Khan, delivered when it mattered.
They also have a good domestic pool of pacers with Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi and Australian Billy Stanlake provides good pace.
The spin department boasts of one of the finest in the game in Rashid Khan. To add to the variety, Sunrisers have Shadbaz Nadeem, Fabian Allen and Mohammad Nabi.
But given the fact that Warner, Bairstow and Rashid Khan make it to playing XI on any day, filling the remaining slot is a major problem. Only one of Williamson, Marsh, Stanlake, Nabi and Fabian Allen can make it to the team.
They have also added new members to the coaching staff replacing Tom Moody with World Cup-winning England coach Trevor Bayliss and Australian Brad Haddin as their assistant coach to boost their chances. Sunrisers look to new coach Bayliss for a repeat show of 2016.
Domestic: Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Bavanaka Sandeep, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Sanjay Yadav, Shreevats Goswami, Wriddhiman Saha, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma
Foreign: David Warner (Captain), Kane Williamson, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Jonny Bairstow, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Billy Stanlake
Key Players: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Coach: Trevor Bayliss
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