Sunrisers Hyderabad would be gearing up for their new season without the services of their best batsman David Warner. The Australian cricketer was involved in ball tampering scandal against South Africa last month.
He was later proven guilty and got banned from playing cricket for 12 months. BCCI also decided to ban both Warner and Smith from IPL 2018. It had forced Sunrisers Hyderabad to look in for a replacement in Alex Hales.
The England opener is undoubtedly one of the biggest hitters of the cricket ball, especially in the shortest format. However, speaking ahead of the tournament, Hales revealed he was expecting to be picked by one of the franchises if any top order batsman gets injured.
“I always had it at the back of my mind that two top-order batsmen were unavailable and that may put me in the frame for a couple of franchises,” the opener told mid-day.com.
“So, you know, when I was back home in England it meant staying fit, staying ready, having some nets and keep on top of my fitness just in case the call came and when it did I was very excited, and I am looking forward to it,” he said.
Sunrisers Hyderabad bought him for ₹1 crore. However, Hales will have a huge task at his disposal. He will need to replace the orange cap holder of the tournament. David Warner had been the most prolific foreign player in the history of Indian Premier League.
He had won two orange caps in the last three seasons and also finished second to Virat Kohli in 2016 IPL season. But Alex Hales has revealed he is up for the challenge.
“I think I’ve got to enjoy it. Obviously, they are big boots to fill. Warner’s led the team exceptionally well and obviously set the tone at the top of the order, so there’s already eyes and expectations on me, but I think the important thing for me is that I enjoy the challenge and embrace it.”
The Sunrisers will begin their IPL campaign against Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad on Monday. They made the ground their fortress over the seasons, and it remains to be seen if they can start off with a win in the absence of Warner.