Underachievers. If you were asked to sum up the Sunrisers Hyderabad outfit in just one word, it would definitely be underachievers. There are a few concrete reasons for asserting such a drastic thing as the men from Hyderabad have failed to make it to the playoffs since their debut campaign in 2013. Post their promising campaign in the sixth edition of the IPL, this team has fizzled out and despite having the talent, the individuals don’t seem to click at the needed hour.
Going into this year’s IPL though, it is safe to say that the Sunrisers are the underdogs considering their outfit. No team can commit the blunder of underestimating the Sunrisers and after acquiring a few renowned individuals in the 2016 player auctions, this team looks promising indeed. Led by David Warner, who was also the Orange Cap holder in the previous IPL, the Sunrisers would be eager to set their record straight this time around. A noticeable inclusion for them this year was none other than Yuvraj Singh, who was literally a steal for them at the auction table. Other than Singh too, the Sunrisers management made some smart decisions at the auction table, which gives their side a positive outlook.
The Sunrisers have a complete squad and in this format, it is essential to have an outfit which looks competent enough and covers all the aspects. The Sunrisers outfit is just that as their batting and bowling departments look equally strong on paper. From the batting front, the onus will be on the duo of Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner to get the side off to a flying start. Both the southpaws are destructive batsmen and can easily set the arena ablaze. The middle order too looks extremely settled as the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan and Naman Ojha are proven performers.
From the bowling front as well, there are no insufficiencies. The Sunrisers have an array of pacers who are proven match winners on their day. With 4 left arm pacers in Ashish Nehra, Trent Boult, Mustafizur Rahman and Barinder Sran, there is a lot of variety in the bowling. The discarded Bhuvneshwar Kumar remains to be an asset in the shortest form of the game and still is a champion bowler for the Sunrisers. As a whole, the Sunrisers have covered most of the bases, needed to be a successful T20 side.
The one weakness which could possibly affect this side could be the absence of a genuine spinner from the ranks. Yes, Karn Sharma is a handy leg spinner, but once he goes for runs initially, it is difficult to find someone to fill in his quota of overs. Sharma also has negligible experience of playing in the international scene and that isn’t ideal for the Sunrisers. The spin department seems to be the only sector, which maligns this promising side.
Also, the absence of star all rounder Yuvraj Singh for the first couple of weeks is a massive blow. Singh injured his ankle during the World T20, and is expected to miss the tournament for the first two weeks. Yuvraj is not just a destructive batsman, but also a handy bowler who can chip in with a few overs of spin. His absence is simply a colossal blow for the Sunrisers.
Players to watch out for:
- David Warner:
Warner was the leading run getter in the previous IPL and this time once again he will be expected to provide the Sunrisers off to a flying start. Warner had an ordinary outing in the World T20, but now, once he is back to his opening slot, he will surely find himself more at ease. On the flat Indian decks, he can wreck havoc against any opposition.
- Ashish Nehra:
Nehra will have to do for the Sunrisers, what he did for the Chennai Super Kings previously. If recent form is anything to go by, then the signs are profusely positive for the Sunrisers. Nehra had a fantastic World T20 and he will be eager to replicate the same form in the IPL. Hopes will be pinned upon Nehra, to strike early for the Sunrisers.
Likely playing XI:
- D. Warner (c ) 2. S. Dhawan 3. K. Williamson 4. Y. Singh/A. Reddy 5. D. Hooda 6. N. Ojha 7. M. Henriques 8. K. Sharma 9. B. Kumar 10. T. Boult 11. A. Nehra
Yuvraj Singh will be a regular member in the playing XI once he is fully fit.
The Sunrisers should make it to the playoffs this time around as they seem to have all the bases covered.
2013: Playoffs (4/9)