New Delhi: Having reached the play-off stages in every edition of the Indian Premier League since 2016, SunRisers Hyderabad have definitely found their mojo in the cash-rich league. But the David Warner-led side would now wish to transform potential into performance and lift their second title.
SRH is known to not tinker with the line-up and considering the strength of the foreign forces, someone as consistent as New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson might have to miss out on a place in the starting line up, to begin with. Skipper Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, and Manish Pandey have been pillars in the SRH line-up and they would once again be looked at to strike gold if SRH have to go the distance.
In the last edition, Kane Williamson had led the Hyderabad-based franchise, but for this season, Warner is back as captain and will look to reignite the spark he showed in partnership with England's Jonny Bairstow at the top of the innings. Rashid Khan is the third foreign player who will be a regular fixture considering his skills with both bat and ball. This leaves Williamson to fight it out with Mohammad Nabi for a place in the XI and considering the wickets on offer in the UAE, it is most likely going to be Nabi ahead of Williamson.
In fact, both Rashid and Nabi had a good time in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and Hyderabad is likely to go in with that experience. However, the middle and lower order may cause worry for the side as, over the past few years, Warner has done the bulk of the job, and the rest of the batsmen apart from him have often disappointed.
If Williamson is not given a chance in the starting XI, then the middle order comprising of Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda and Vijay Shankar may get exposed. In the players' auction held in 2019, the side managed to rope in talents like Virat Singh, Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad, but expecting young guns to have a standout debut season may just be a bit too much.
SRH also have Australia's Mitchell Marsh in their ranks, but him being given a chance ahead of Rashid and Nabi, looks unlikely. When it comes to bowling, Hyderabad have all the bases covered. With the tournament being held in UAE, spinners would be required to do the bulk of the job and SRH will bank heavily on Rashid and Nabi in this aspect. Having Shakib Al Hasan would have really helped SRH on UAE wickets.
The fast bowling department will be handled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Billy Stanlake, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan and Basil Thampi. The management is sure to have a headache picking a couple of fast bowlers from this bunch. SRH will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore in their opening match on September 21.
SRH squad: David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sanjay Yadav, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Bavanaka Sandeep, Basil Thampi.