Sport

IPL 2021 team watch: Sunrisers Hyderabad bank on their core group to deliver again

IPL 2021 team watch: Sunrisers Hyderabad bank on their core group to deliver again

Vital statistics

Owners: Sun TV

Captain: David Warner

Main man: Rashid Khan

Coach: Trevor Bayliss

Home ground: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad

Best finish: Winners, 2016

Kolkata: One of the biggest pluses of Sunrisers Hyderabad, who entered the fray in place of the disbanded Deccan Chargers in 2012, had been their reliance on a core group of players and wise acquisitions from the auctions - based more on the need to fill up gaps in the team rather than breaking the bank for marquee names. This has served them well as the Orange Brigade had been one of the most consistent franchises so far with six play-off appearances in last eight appearances - including one title in 2016 and a runners-up finish.

The resilience of the squad came to the fore once again in the 2020 edition in the UAE. The team was hamstrung by a lack of form of their talismanic captain David Warner and Jonny Bairstow in the initial stages and an unfortunate hamstring injury to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, their attacking lynchpin, which forced him out of the tournament. They were languishing at the bottom half of the table at the halfway mark and just when one thought they could fail to make the cut, Sunrisers bounced back into reckoning with a couple of edge-of-the seat finishes.

A welcome augury for the Sunrisers is the retun of ‘Bhuvi’ to full fitness and form - as one witnessed during both the recently concluded white ball series against England. If their bowling had been overtly reliant on him and the guile of Rashid Khan to often defend modest totals over the years, the emergence of T. Natarajan as an yorker specialist over the last six months would surely add teeth to their attack.

The batting has revolved around the top four of the explosive opening duo of Warner-Bairstow, Manish Pandey and Kane Williamson - but it had often betrayed a lack of depth in the lower order last season. The team management had tried to address the issue by adding Jason Roy, the in-form England opener, in place of Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh who has pulled out of the IPL due to personal reasons. Kedar Jadhav, another experienced campaigner who had been released by Chennai Super Kings after a poor last season, can turn explosive with the bat in the lower order while he has a knack of breaking partnerships with his fastish off-breaks.

Last season, one of their major dilemma was to zero in on their overseas players in the playing XI with the foursome of Warner, Bairstow, Williamson and Rashid selecting themselves. This would leave Roy, the highly under-rated Jason Holder and the Afghan veteran Mohammed Nabi in the dugout - it would be interesting to see how they would juggle the resources.

A final word about them - write off the Sunrisers only at your own peril.

Full squad

David Warner (Captain), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T. Natarajan, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abdul Samad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Jason Holder, Kedar Jadhav, Jagadeesha Suchith.