Sunrisers Hyderabad – a team that shows plenty of brilliance in the league stages only to fritter their advantage in the knock-out stages. The team, which is considered as the best bowling unit in the IPL, has had their moments but only one title in the last six editions is not an impressive resume for a team that has the potential to match the capabilities of top sides like Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders. Sunrisers did not have too much to ponder in the 2018 auction where they bought just three players in Martin Guptill, Jonny Bairstow and Wriddhiman Saha. However, the squad will see a welcome boost in David Warner, who missed the 2018 edition due to the ball-tampering scandal in the Newlands Test against South Africa.
Warner’s addition to the side not only gives them power at the top but it also gives them a solid leadership potential, provided Sunrisers Hyderabad choose Warner. With Shikhar Dhawan going to the Delhi Capitals, Sunrisers need some solidity in their batting. The likes of Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar give them depth along with Wriddhiman Saha.
If Sunrisers Hyderabad need to go the distance in the IPL, then they will have to bank on their bowlers. In the previous edition, the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul efficiently controlled the flow of runs in the death overs. The bowling though, is boosted by Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan, who is without doubt one of the best spinners in the Twenty20 format. His brilliance in the middle overs and also at the death makes him a valuable asset. It is this bowling composition which makes Sunrisers Hyderabad potent as compared to the other teams.
Sunrisers Hyderabad squad
Martin Guptill, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sandeep Sharma, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Mohammad Nabi, T Natarajan, Kane Williamson, Abhishek Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, David Warner, Vijay Shankar, Khaleel Ahmed, Manish Pandey, Billy Stanlake, Deepak Hooda, Basil Thampi, Ricky Bhui, Sreevats Goswami (wk)
Head coach: Tom Moody
Mentor: VVS Laxman
Bowling coach: Muttiah Muralitharan
Assistant coach: Simon Helmot
Indian players to watch out for
Manish Pandey: The right-hander has not played an ODI for India since September 2018 in the Asia Cup. Even in the Twenty20 against West Indies in October, he did not impress. A solid performance in the middle order in this edition could potentially see him go to England for the World Cup as the back-up to India’s No.4 conundrum.
Siddarth Kaul: The Punjab pacer is an effective option in the death. In the tour of England, Kaul did not impress much but he can be a wonderful asset in the death in the company of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Although the Indian bowling composition is settled for the World Cup, a good performance might boost his inclusion.
International players to watch out for
David Warner: He missed the 2018 IPL due to the sandpapergate scandal and now he is back. The Australian’s addition is a welcome boost to their batting fortunes. In addition to his leadership skills, Sunrisers will be banking on him to repeat his 2016 heroics.
Martin Guptill: For most editions of the IPL, the New Zealand opener has been ignored during the auctions only to be included as a replacement for a player who is injured. A good performance in the IPL is the right boost for this aggressive player and he could be in the right frame of mind heading into the World Cup for New Zealand.
2013: Fourth (Eliminator)
2017: Fourth (Eliminator)