With the start of IPL just days away, Sunrisers Hyderabad is one of the most well-rounded sides heading into this year's competition. Consistency over the seasons after winning the title in 2016 has made the management retain most of their players, showing they will have little to no activity in the IPL auction 2021. As predicted they spent only INR 4 Cr on three players as backup options as most of their bases are covered.
After having qualified for playoffs every season from 2016 to 2020, Sunrisers Hyderabad will once again be bullish about their chances of lifting the IPL championship trophy a second time. The latest news to come out of their camps is the unavailability of Mitchell Marsh who has since been replaced by Jason Roy. He will now team up with his fellow compatriot Jonny Bairstow, as both had an excellent showing in the recent white-ball formats of the India versus England series.
Without further adieu, Let's take a look at the best-predicted playing XI for the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The skipper of the side and first name on the sheet. He has gone onto establish himself as the spine of the side after playing a major role in helping the Hyderabad franchise lifting their first trophy. He has also been very consistent with the bat having won 3 orange caps in his last 6 seasons. With over 5000 runs in his IPL career, the explosive batsman will be seen to lead from the front.
The Indian wicketkeeper was never an automatic starter but grabbed his opportunity with both hands when given a chance last season. He scored 214 runs from 4 matches at an average of 71, and when he got injured for the playoffs, it was clear to see how much it hurt the team. Although there is a serious case for Jonny Bairstow or Jason Roy to be made, as both take up an overseas spot, it is most likely Saha will get the nod.
After the onslaught of Warner in the opening overs, Manish Pandey is someone who can offer quick runs in the middle overs or steady the ship in case of an early collapse, depending on the match circumstances. His performances have been held in great stead for the Sunrisers Hyderabad, often consistently scoring over 400 runs last year alone. With his inclusion in the team, great strength is added to their middle-order.
One part of the famed ‘Fab four’, Kane Williamson although not known for his hard-hitting has had excellent seasons in the IPL. Captaining the side to the finals in 2018 scoring over 700 runs during the unavailability of David Warner, his value is not something that could be disregarded. He continued his batting heroics last season too scoring 317 runs at an average of 45.28. With his ability to score quick runs without risks, he can do wonders for the Sunrisers.
The captain of the U19 2020 Indian World Cup team, a brave batsman who provided some valuable contributions. He was included in Sunrisers playing XI last year and didn't exactly have a breakout season. Although we could see shades of his world-class talent in his knock of 51 runs from 26 balls against Chennai Super Kings. It looks like the franchise will continue to back his efforts to find consistency.
As a natural hitter of the ball, Abishek Sharma adds some much-needed value as one of the finishers in the team. He is also capable of bowling a few overs, to keep the skipper’s main bowling options open. His spot will be challenged by Abdul Samad throughout the competition, but Sharma’s superior performances in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament turn the balance in his favor.
The West Indies all-rounder replaced Mitchell Marsh in IPL 2020 and had an outstanding season. He provided the perfect combination in the team the management was looking for, added to his excellent exploits with bat and ball. He carries on the West Indian flair of the hard-hitting batsman and can score runs no matter his position. He is also a menacing bowler and can scare any batsman standing tall at six feet seven inches.
Currently, one of the best bowlers in the white-ball formats by many, Buveneshwar Kumar’s returns to form after injury will be of delight to the management. He will be seen as the lead attack bowler, having won 2 purple caps in his Sunrisers career. The Indian pacer’s swinging deliveries caused much trouble for the English batsman and was one of the standout bowlers in the India England series.
The young Afghan player is one of the best players of the white-ball formats and has wreaked havoc in the IPL since his inclusion. Capable of stopping the run flow in the middle overs, Batsman finds it extremely difficult to play him. He had the best economical figures in IPL 2020 standing at 5.38 per over, picking up 20 wickets. Adding on his ability to cleanly hit the ball, Rashid Khan is a sure bet for his name in the team
The Indian medium pacer also possesses the uncanny ability to swing the ball and will be looking to share the new ball duties with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Having played 13 matches last season, the bowler picked up 14 wickets at an economy of 7.19. He will surely be the one to make a way in the team if the need for an extra spinner arises. With Shabaz Nadeem challenging for that spot.
Undoubtedly the star of IPL 2020, T Natrajan has shot up to great heights since last year's competition and has gone on to have successful stints with the Indian cricket team. Making his name as a death bowler specialist, the Indian pacer’s yorkers are absolutely lethal. With the combination of Bhuveneshwar Kumar and T Natrajan going into the finals overs, any batsman in the world will struggle to score runs.
Team Rating: 8.54/10
Undoubtedly one of the strongest teams in this year’s competition having retained their playing XI with all bases covered. They have added much-needed batting strength in the backup option to make sure they don't miss a beat. The only cause of worry is the bowling department and the fitness of Bhuveneshwar Kumar, who has a notoriety for getting injured. All in all a well-rounded side who will once again look to challenge for top honors.
Let us know your comments about the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, who do you think are their top performers and how far in the tournament do you think they will go. Also, do read Cricwizz's pick on the Top 5 SRH players to watch out for the upcoming season.