Here we go again – The Indian Premier League (IPL), is set to begin its 13th season in the UAE from September 19th, 2020. After an inevitable delay due to the COVID19 pandemic, the cricketing fraternity from India and all around the world is keen on witnessing the annual T20 carnival. IPL this year is also set to have a new title sponsor, Dream 11 to grace the occasion. The league has been in and around the news for almost two months now and with all sanctions achieved, one only waits for it to commence.
Each team this season will only be allowed a total of 24 players, select support staff and only 10 net bowlers to travel along. Moreover, each player will have to undergo a strict quarantine and routine tests before training as well as due course. Having said, every single franchise, every single player and every single fan is ready to play and support his/her favorite team. Here’s a series with an individual look at the capabilities, balance, strengths and weaknesses of the eight IPL teams.
It has been a topsy-turvy ride for the Hyderabad franchise. After a disappointing first season, Hyderabad, as Deccan Chargers then, rallied to win the IPL in South Africa 2009. They underwent a major revamp when media giants Sun TV Network took charge from the Deccan Chronicle in 2013. The franchise tasted its first triumph in 2016 under the leadership of David Warner. They have managed to qualify for the playoffs ever since and have been a team worth watching in recent years.
Sunrisers Hyderabad find a stable and effective captain under David Warner. In his absence in 2018, Kane Williamson took charge. He fared exceedingly well to take Hyderabad to the finals. Even last year, the Kiwi skipper was impressive taking Hyderabad to the playoffs. However, it is his uncertainty of featuring in the playing XI that perhaps led Hyderabad to go back to Warner this year. Having said, them both combined have been effective with all the decisions and have managed the young Indian talents well. This season though, Warner and the team management will have a larger hand selecting a perfectly balanced squad from the players at hand.
Champions, IPL 2016
Transfers and New Buys:
Sunrisers Hyderabad traded Shikhar Dhawan to Delhi Capitals before the auction in exchange of the trio – Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem and Vijay Shankar. With a clear eye for scouting young Indian talents, Hyderabad further went in to grab a few of India’s most promising domestic cricketers. The addition of young Abdul Samad from J&K, Priyam Garg, B Sandeep and Sanjay Yadav all add depth to the side.
Shakib-al-Hasan’s unavailability is sure to have immense impact on team’s balance. Being void of an experienced overseas all-rounder, Hyderabad brought Mitchell Marsh and Fabian Allen, both quite contrasting in nature, yet effective.
The change this year has also come in form of the team management and support staff. Englishman Trevor Bayliss took charge as the head-coach from the Australian Tom Moody. Bayliss will be joined by Brad Haddin as the assistant coach.
Strengths, Key Players:
The strength of the side lies in the formidable opening pair. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow ran riot against all oppositions last year scoring the majority of the team’s runs. The pair instilled a fear in the bowlers and their contrastingly aggressive batting styles got the better of the opposition’s morale more often than not. If their right-left combination gets going early on, Sunrisers would well be in control. Manish Pandey, the Indian batsman in the middle order is another promise with the bat. It will also be interesting to see Wriddhiman Saha’s approach to the game, as one expects him to play a pivotal role in Hyderabad’s batting.
Sunrisers also go into this IPL as one of the heaviest bowling sides on paper. Spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar and Rashid, the likes of Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi complete an all-round bowling unit.
A fragile and an inexperienced middle order threat looms high and large over the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Other than Manish Pandey, Hyderabad has scarce options to choose from. The void in the batting order after Warner, Bairstow and Pandey is evident and will take an inspired performance from the Indian youngsters to solve the crisis. Moreover, with Rashid Khan confirmed to take the third foreigner spot, it will lead to a toss-up between the services of Kane Williamson and the all-rounder Mohammad Nabi.
The bowling department as well rests completely on the Indian seamers, especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The UP-born cricketer was at his peak in 2016 and 2017 but has dwindled a bit in recent past. For Hyderabad to come up strong, it is imperative for Bhuvneshwar to step up both, at the start and at the death. Having said, the team is still well-capable of doing wonders if set into groove early.
Hyderabad has massive foreign attractions in Warner, Bairstow, Rashid and Williamson but cricket being a team game, it is important for even others to step up. IPL 2020 brings in a massive opportunity for the Indian talents in the team to prove their mettle at the top-level. Finding the right balance early on is crucial and key to their chances to qualify for the play-offs.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Squad:
David Warner (c), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi. Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha. Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Bavanaka Sandeep, Fabian Allen, Abdul Samad and Sanjay Yadav.
ICN360’s Best Possible Hyderabad XI:
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Wriddhiman Saha, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma/Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul