Great top order, great spin attack and an aggressive captain like David Warner. The most balanced Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will once again be among the four strong contenders for the playoffs. After not having a high profile team like Mumbai Indians (MI) or Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Sunrisers are no less than anyone as they have a great coaching staff.
It includes legendary former players such as Trevor Bellis (former KKR IPL winning coach), VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan. All three have been in the dugout of successful IPL teams and have very high stature. Sunrisers have a charismatic captain as David Warner, who returns this season as captain, with the potential to win matches on his own.
Four years ago, Sunrisers had won the title under Warner’s captaincy and have achieved ‘Orange Cap’ three times. Last season, Johnny Bairstow and Warner broke several records, including the record for the biggest partnership in IPL history. Both took the team to the knockout on their own.
Warner scored 692 runs in 12 matches which included 8 half-centuries and 1 century. Bairstow added 445 runs in 10 matches with a century and two half-centuries. Sunrisers have Indian fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar as fast bowler and Afghanistan T20 captain Rashid Khan as world class spinner. Apart from him, bowling will be handled by Siddharth Kaul and Shahbaz Nadeem.
The Sunrisers’ batting order, however, does not appear to have that much depth. With Warner and Bairstow failing, Daromdar will completely take on Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson. The team has relied on youngsters like left-handed batsman Virat Singh, who scored 343 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Batting all-rounder Abhishek Sharma and India’s Under 19 captain Priyam Garg are also in the squad.
Bowling consultant Muttiah Muralitharan said, “This year we are going with the youth and we hope that they will use the opportunity properly.” The role of spinners will be important on UAE pitches. In such a situation, Rashid can prove to be a trumpcard, whose economy rate in the tournament is 6.55. The team has a new coach in the form of Trevor Bellis, under whose guidance England have won two ODI World Cup and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) two IPL titles last year.
Team: David Warner (Captain), Johnny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Srivats Goswami, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Riddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mitchell Marsh, Abhishek Sharma, B.C. Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khalil Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi.