Over the years, SunRisers Hyderabad has been a team who have gone by their work in a very calm method. No one predicted them to be the winner prior to the tournament when they laid their hands on the trophy in IPL 2016. Even after that season, they have not done badly. Playoffs in 2017, Runners up in 2018 and then again playoffs in 2019 express their consistency as a team.
However, season 2019 exposed a lot of loopholes in their side and they were lucky to qualify for the next stage. In the Auctions, SRH tried to cover some of those weaknesses. They added some unknown Indian commodities to bat in the middle order. Here is how they will be starting their campaign in IPL 2020.
David Warner/Kane Williamson
Aussie and SRH opener David Warner is one of the best batsmen to play in this competition. He has scored over 500 runs in the last 5 seasons for Hyderabad which shows his remarkable consistency. The kind of consistency we link Virat Kohli with when it comes to International cricket. Warner’s role will remain the same and he doesn’t need to change it either. All he would need to do is to repeat what he has done in the last 5 years for the same franchise. Since there is an uncertainty over whether or not the Australian and English players would be available for the first game, Kane Williamson is the most likely candidate to replace him both as captain and opener if he doesn’t play.
Jonny Bairstow/Wriddhiman Saha
Partnering Warner in the top order will be the English batsman Jonny Bairstow who had an amazing season last year when he scored 445 runs at an average of 55 and strike rate of 157. Jonny and Warner both had scored 100s together in a run feast against RCB previous season. Just like Warner, Bairstow too wouldn’t need to change anything from what he did last year. Again due to same reason, Bairstow might be replaced by Saha for the first game.
Priyam Garg/Abdul Samad
The Indian U-19 captain was bought by SRH in 1.9 Crore in the auction few days ago. Garg, who is primarily a middle order batsman for his state side where he bats at 4 will most likely find a place in the side. However, he will face a stiff competition with Virat Singh but if Priyam plays well in U-19 WC, he will strengthen his chances of getting picked. However, his batting position can be changed according to match situation but to begin with, number 3 looks most suitable for him. Abdul Samad might be another option to fill this role.
Manish Pandey looked totally out of sorts in the first few matches of IPL last year but went on to redeem himself in the later stages where he got the opportunity to bat at 3. His overall numbers didn’t look bad as he went on to score 344 runs at an average of 43 and strike rate of 130. His best performance came against CSK where he scored 83(49) coming at 3 against a quality bowling attack. Manish as an experienced middle order player will have the responsibility not just to hold an end up but also to score at a good pace so that the team doesn’t lose the momentum in middle overs which has often been the case with SRH.
Without any other thoughts, Vijay Shankar was the weakest link of SRH batting order last season. With his selection in Indian World Cup side, much was expected of him. Shankar only managed to score 244 runs in the entire season and hardly had any match winning impact with ball either. In the absence of any other quality Indian All-rounder in the squad, Shankar’s place looks secured but his performance becomes vital for the team considering the number he bats at.
SRH added West Indian All Rounder Fabian Allen in their side who brings the same value to the team which Nabi brings but with Nabi’s ability to bowl during the powerplay, even to the best of the batsmen, he will get the nod ahead of Allen. Nabi was sensational with the ball in the same match in which Warner and Bairstow had gone on to score 100s. Batting at 6, Nabi only faced a total of 76 balls in the entire tournament which on average means One and a half over per game. With the limited batting opportunities, Nabi’s primary role will be with ball, especially in powerplay and middle overs.
Abhishek Sharma/ Fabian Allen
Abhishek Sharma was traded from Delhi Capitals to SunRisers Hyderabad before 2019 season. With a fragile middle order, SRH would dearly love to have some batting depth down the order. Abhishek didn’t get to play too many matches for DC in last couple of seasons so there isn’t anything much one can say about it but he adds a good balance to the team combined with his left arm spin which will bring some variety to the side. If Saha plays instead of Bairstow in the first game, that’d open an extra overseas option and Fabian Allen may get picked over Abhishek Sharma in that case.
Just like all the top performers of a side do, Rashid Khan picks himself in the side. He is easily the best spinner in T20 cricket at the moment and there is no need to mention what his presence means to this SRH team. In all the three seasons of IPL he has played so far, he has taken more than 17 wickets each time. However, he as per his standards looked ordinary in the season gone by where the batsmen found playing him relatively easier. Even though his economy improved, his strike rate went up to 21 from 17 which is still excellent for any bowler but the kind of Rashid has set, he had a slightly meager season in 2019 which he would badly want to correct.
Without any other experienced Indian fast bowler in the side, Kumar’s role becomes very crucial for the chances of SRH. Bhuvi hasn’t done anything remarkable in past two seasons and looking at the prospect of WT20 next year, he would love to have a good IPL season where he wouldn’t only need to pick wickets but also have the same effect in death overs too.
For this slot, Sandeep will have to compete with 2 other Right hand fast bowlers Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi but given that he has been the best of these 3 bowlers in last season ensures his selection as the second fast bowler in the side. Sandeep’s performance has dipped in the previous couple of seasons where he could only manage 24 wickets from the 23 games combined but he still has the best of the numbers when it comes to comparing him with the other options.
Khaleel Ahmed’s inclusion brings a variety to the bowling attack. With all the other bowlers, especially fast bowlers being Right handers, Khaleel becomes a very understandable selection with the vital left arm angle he creates. Even though he hasn’t enjoyed a good run playing for India off late but don’t make the mistake of linking his International struggles to his IPL performances. He was the standout bowler for SRH where he picked up 19 wickets in only 9 Matches at an average of 15 and strike rate of 11!