David Warner-led Sunrises Hyderabad lifted their maiden IPL trophy in 2016. Since then, the franchise has consistently made it to the top four at the end of the league stage to compete for the cup. The accolade has, however, evaded the grasp of Warner & Co. on every occasion. Thanks to a core that was retained from the previous season, the franchise was rather quiet at the mini-auction that transpired on 18 February. Can Warner and his men lift their second cup this season? Let’s find out.
The Hyderabad-based franchise was hit by the unavailability of Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh, who pulled out of the tournament citing personal reasons. Sunrisers Hyderabad then reserved the services of England batsman Jason Roy, who will further strengthen the batting department at the franchise.
As we mentioned earlier, Sunrisers Hyderabad were quiet at the mini-auction this year. The side has a solid core that includes skipper David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, etc., who have been playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad for quite some time now.
Both skipper Warner and the team management would want the team to repeat the heroics of 2016 and lift their 2nd IPL title this year. The presence of the Afghan trio of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Mujeeb Ur Rahman has ensured that Sunrisers Hyderabad have a variety of spin bowling options in their ranks.
With some consistent performances in previous seasons under their belt and a potent batting unit, which is complemented by a strong bowling department, Sunrisers Hyderabad are one of the stronger contenders for the title in IPL 2021. Can they get over the line, though? We’re not far away from finding out as Warner and his men commence their season against Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders on 11 April.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have hardly been disappointed by their opening batsmen. The duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow performed exceptionally in 2019. Then it was Wriddhiman Saha who shone for the franchise in 2020. Team management would, once again, want the opening batsmen to lay down a robust foundation for the middle and lower order.
Rashid Khan has never failed to make a mark ever since he debuted for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2017. The Afghan leg-spinner picked 20 wickets in 16 games last season, going at just 5.37 runs per over. Another good season for the 22-year-old will ensure a good run for the franchise in IPL 2021. Moreover, the IPL 2016 champions will also be looking forward to benefiting from the services of newly recruited Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
A weak middle-order has time and again troubled Sunrisers Hyderabad. Inexperienced young Indian batsmen Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, and Abdul Samad will have to punch above their weight and play a supporting role in the middle-order.
The franchise would also want their fresh recruit Kedar Jadhav and seasoned campaigner Manish Pandey to do justice to their big names and deliver for the team on a regular basis. However, given Kedar Jadhav has never scored over 300 in an IPL season, the middle woes may continue to haunt the franchise.
It will be a great chance for young Indian cricketers Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, and Abdul Samad to prove their mettle at the grand stage and knock on the doors of the national team. Given the young lot clicks, it will also prove to be a solution to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s middle-order troubles.
Moving ahead, Indian all-rounders Vijay Shankar and Jagadeesha Suchith also have a big opportunity at their hands to put on a show at the premier franchise tournament. Mohammad Nabi, who has been in and out of the playing XI over the years, would also want to cement his place in the side with some big performances.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have, many a time, been troubled by injuries. Indian pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been fit and in some good form of late, and the franchise would hope for him to keep his fitness in check throughout the tournament and win the team some crucial games.
Furthermore, all-rounder Vijay Shankar and wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha have also missed some high-stake games in the past due to injuries. A repeat of the same may hurt the franchise’s chances of claiming their second IPL trophy.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have their first game of IPL 2021 slated against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders. The franchise will play its first five games in Chennai before moving to Delhi for their next four fixtures. It will then play three games in Kolkata and conclude the league stage with the final two matches in Bengaluru.
Since the IPL 2021 is being held behind closed doors, fans this year have to manage with television and social media coverage of the grand tournament. For all the updates from in and around the Indian Premier League, that too in just 30 seconds, keep reading AlShorts.