Defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad are well on course to retain the IPL crown they won last year. Sunrisers Hyderabad marched into the playoffs after finishing on the third spot in the league stages.
It wasn’t a cakewalk for the champs as they were pitched in a close battle with Kings Eleven Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiant’s for securing playoff berth right till the very last. SRH clinched a comprehensive wicket win over Gujarat Lions to secure a playoff berth. Meanwhile Punjab getting decimated by Rising Pune Supergiant also helped their cause.
The team looks one of the most balanced sides in the tournament with firepower in both batting and bowling. Skipper David Warner has spearheaded their batting efforts by amassing over 600 runs. The diminutive Aussie opener holds the 'Orange Cap' by leading the run scoring charts. Warner has been at his explosive best all through the tournament, giving his team the opening salvo in the power-plays.
Warner also showcased tremendous maturity by playing the sheet anchor’s role when the team was in a spot of bother chasing imposing totals. Shikhar Dhawan has played the perfect foil to David Warner at the top of the innings. Dhawan who was a little out of sorts in the first few games of the season regained his touch to provide SRH with the acceleration in the scoring rate in the power plays.
Sunrisers have a dependable and compact middle order which has a good blend of attacking stroke-makers and those who can build an innings. Moses Henriques has indeed been their Mr dependable by consistently scoring runs. Yuvraj Singh has produced flashes of brilliance with his belligerent hitting towards the end of the innings but needs to be a little more consistent. Kiwi batting maestro Kane Williamson has provided that flourish to the innings by unleashing his whirlwind camoes. The otherwise classy stroke player has certainly donned a new avtar of an assaulter in the shortest format.
Sunrisers have perhaps one of the most potent bowling line-ups this season along with Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils. The attack is well rounded with quality in both seam and swing. Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued his splendid form with the ball from last season and has been their strike bowler all season long. Bhuvi ran through the best of batting attacks with his menacing swing and enhanced pace. Bhuvi’s expertise at bowling in the death overs has made him a priceless asset in the bowling armory.
SRH also had the luxury of old war horse Ashish Nehra who brought in his valuable experience to compliment Bhuvneshwar with the new ball. Sunrisers pace attack got the impetus with young turks in Siddharth Kaul and Mohammad Siraj showcasing their pedigree. While Siddharth bowled some exceptional spells to choke the runs at the death for his team, Siraj has impressed one and all with his fiery pace.It was not only about pace, but Sunrisers attack had some quality in spin too.
Afghan leg spinner Rashid Khan has been a revelation of sorts in his debut season, bamboozling the batsmen with his deceptive googlies.The leggie has certainly stolen a bit of a limelight by scalping big wickets. Rashid has been well partnered by fellow Afghan Mohammad Nabi who has chipped in with crucial wickets. So the defending champions have all the cogs in their wheel to make it to the grand finale and defend their coveted title.