Sunrisers Hyderabad is the franchise with the least number of changes to the team for the upcoming IPL. Retaining most of their players, the franchise entered the mini-auction with a purse of just INR 10.75 Cr and spent it on 3 players. With having all their bases covered with a well and settled team, the management will not be looking to make any changes to the playing eleven.
After lifting the trophy in 2016, they have been a consistent team throughout the years, qualifying for the playoffs in every season thereafter. The credit for consistency remains to the keeping of core players who have churned out wonderful performances year after year.
Today we take a look at the top 5 performers expected to perform for the franchise this year.
One of the most destructive batsmen in all formats of the game, he is an obvious choice as he has been the spine of the team and the skipper who leads from the front over the years. He was the second-highest run-scorer for them as they won the title in 2016. Offering blistering starts and taking the attack to the opposition, he has the ability to take the match away from the opponents very early in the game.
The left-handed batsman is one of the leading run-scorers of the team, scoring over 5254 runs over 154 matches at a blazing strike rate of 141.54. This includes 4 centuries and 48 half-centuries. In his best ever season he scored over 848 runs with 60.57 average hittings at a strike rate of 151.42. One of the very few batsmen who can single-handedly win matches, David Warner remains a crucial part of the Sunrisers team.
One part of the famed Big three which includes Virat Kohli and Joe Root, Kane Williamson has always been brilliant in the Indian Premier League. He has been a consistent performer with the bat over the years as the team could depend on him in any given situation. Known for his coolness, He rarely lets any opportunities slip even captaining the team to the finals in the 2018 edition of IPL in the absence of regular skipper David Warner.
Being a cool customer with the bat, He has scored over 1619 runs from 53 matches holding an average of 39.48 at a strike rate of 134.80. His best season in IPL when he captained the side he scored over 735 runs from 17 matches at a strike rate of 142.44. He is mostly seen as the anchor of the innings as more destructive batsmen boost the run rate around him, having the ability to easily translate his batting talent across conditions, he will be called to steady their innings once again.
The hard-hitting batsman is a crucial part of the No1 T20 International side in the world, A proven performer in the highest levels, Opening the innings alongside David Warner can often spell destruction for the opponents. Always looking for the maximum, bowlers will struggle to find their rhythm against this batsman. With his quick-paced batting style, He can help the Hyderabad franchise to some fast starts in chasing targets or in setting up big scores.
One should expect nothing different again this year if his IPL records are anything to go by. In the last edition, he scored 345 runs from 11 matches at a strike rate of 142.34. Although he struggled in the recently concluded test series against India, he didn't show any lack of form in the T20 games as he scored 118 runs from 5 matches at an average of 39.33 at a strike rate of 137.20. He will be looking to up the gear during the IPL season in preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
The Afghan player has been magnificent and been wreaking havoc in the IPL. The spin bowler has garnered plaudits from all corners of the game with his bowling exploits. Being bowling all-rounder he can also do his part with the bat hitting valuable sixes lower down the order. Although not a quick turner of the ball, he puts the batsman under pressure by bowling quickly through the air.
Having been retained every year, Sunrisers Hyderabad is the only team he has played for. He has picked up 75 wickets from 62 matches, frustrating the batsman on the crease keeping an economy of 6.24 in this batsman-friendly format. He took 20 wickets from 16 matches at an economy of 5.37 including his best figures of 3 wickets for 7 runs. With his ability to cleanly hit the ball being the cherry on the top, he is one of the standout performers of the T20 format and will be a crucial element to the Hyderabad side.
Coming back from injury, the Indian medium pacer has been the pick of the bowlers in the shortest formats of the game. Having outstanding seasons throughout the years he is one of the leading wicket-takers of the Sunrisers team. He leads the Sunrisers pace attack and is one of the bowling mainstays along with Afghan spin bowler Rashid Khan. With his exceptional control of line and length and ability to swing the ball both ways, the Indian pacer has the ability to trouble any batsman facing him.
Being one of the most successful bowlers for the Hyderabad side, he has taken over 136 wickets from 121 matches keeping an economy of 7.23 including a rare five-wicket haul. Playing only 4 matches of the last edition due to his thigh injury, the bowler looks to have overcome his struggles as he claimed the man of the match award in the final game, which won India the T20 series against England. With his injury behind him, the medium-pacer will be keen to showcase his talents.
With a very much less changed side and sticking to their old guns, Hyderabad management reckons they have struck the winning formula. Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts about the Sunrisers team and who do you think will be their top performers.