IPL 2018: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) eye second title sans David Warner
Sunrisers Hyderabad, into its sixth year in the Indian Premier League (IPL), looked to be one of the most balanced sides post the 2018 auction. But the ball-tampering row during the third South Africa-Australia Test in Cape Town has rankled the 2016 champions’ core.
David Warner, Sunrisers’ captain, was banned for 12 months and the IPL governing council also followed suit. It announced that the fiery Australian batsman would not be part of the 2018 edition.
The onus is now on new captain Kane Williamson to lead his side to a great result in the absence of their best batsman.
Among the two players retained by the franchise in this year’s auctions, Warner’s presence in the team would have gone a long way into influencing their performance though Shikhar Dhawan’s recent limited-overs form is encouraging. In Warner’s absence, Dhawan will have to extra responsibility at the top.
The other player retained, and for the right reasons too, is Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The top wicket-taker two IPL seasons in a row, there is probably no one better than Bhuvneshwar Kumar when it comes to T20 bowling. Afghan Rashid Khan too is expected to tweak some magic again.
Hyderabad’s biggest buy in this year’s auction is Manish Pandey who comes with a reputation of winning crunch matches and should fit well in the middle order. Along with Wriddhiman Saha, who recently scored a century off 20 balls in club cricket, this middle order has the potential to turn around matches in a matter of few deliveries. And when you consider that the likes of Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite and Shakib Al Hasan too are on their roster, this Sunrisers Hyderabad squad looks locked and loaded to fire.
Their support staff consisting Tom Moody, VVS Laxman, Muttiah Muralitharan also adds to their strength.
Kane Williamson (c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan Arman, Shikhar Dhawan, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Sharma, Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Mohammad Nabi Eisakhil, Chris Jordan, Billy Stanlake, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Ricky Bhui, Sachin Baby, Tanmay Agarwal.
Head coach – Tom Moody
Assistant coach – Simon Helmot
Bowling coach – Muttiah Muralitharan
Mentor – VVS Laxman
Performance analyst – Shrinivaas Chandrasekaran
Physio – Theo Kapakoulakis
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The New Zealand Test captain is among the top four batsmen in the current era. Despite that talent, Williamson has not been able to set the IPL stage on fire in previous editions. However, in the seven matches he got in 2017, he crossed the 50-run mark three times. He would want to better that record this time around and he will have the extra responsibility of marshalling the team.
Rashid Khan Arman
The Afghanistan mystery spinner was one of the major talking points in the 2017 IPL. He took 17 wickets in 14 matches, with an economy of 6.62. This time Rashid became one of the costliest player with Sunrisers getting him for Rs 9 crore- an investment which many consider is worth his talent.
The tall Barbados player’s moment of fame came when he hit four straight sixes against England to give West Indies the 2016 World T20. Since then, Brathwaite has not been consistent. But that should not deter Sunrisers Hyderabad’s opponents from taking him lightly as his ability for big hits and bowl tight line.
Shakib Al Hasan
He has been Bangladesh’s most trusted players in the past few years. A reliable batsman as well as spinner, Shakib brings with him wealth of experience. However, the last two editions of IPL have not seen him fire like his old self. Shakib would want to change that record if he gets chance in the playing XI.
The England allrounder has 118 wickets in 115 T20 matches and possesses the ability to hit big shots. His presence in the middle order can become a crucial factor for Sunrisers Hyderabad to get some late runs on board. He had a decent show for Peshawar Zalmi in the recently-concluded Pakistan Super League.
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With effective displays across formats, he has become India’s top pacer in the last couple of years. The IPL is no different, as Bhuvneshwar has shown the knack of bowling with perfection in the death overs. He was one of the two retained players by Sunrisers Hyderabad and his 26 wickets in 14 matches are proof enough for the reason of that trust.
Dhawan’s partnership with Warner at the top gives Sunrisers Hyderabad the opening boost to unnerve the opponents. In sub-continent conditions, Dhawan can singlehandedly destroy the rival team. In the last two seasons, the left-handed batsman amassed close to 1000 runs and would again be a reliable hand for Sunrisers this time.
He is a new entry into Sunrisers Hyderabad line-up. A regular part of India’s limited overs teams’ middle order, Pandey is a responsible batsman. He mostly relies on traditional shots but that hasn’t stopped him from scoring 2215 runs in IPL. With a strong showing in IPL, he would want to prove his mettle once again.
Member of India’s 2012 U-19 World Cup winning team, Sandeep has impressed with his strong show in IPL. He has got two four-wicket hauls and would be expected to form a strong pair with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This is the first time he will be playing for Sunrisers, and the 24-year-old would eye a strong start.
Indian Test team’s regular wicketkeeper recently scored a 20-ball century in a local T20 club game in Kolkata. It speaks volumes of his potential. Saha earlier played for Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. Sunrisers is a new destination for him. His safe hands behind the wicket will be crucial for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
2013 – Playoffs
2014 – sixth
2015 – sixth
2016 – Champions
2017 – Playoffs