PREVIEW: On cricketbadger.com we preview each of the IPL franchise – here’s our appraisal on the chances of the David Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad…
David Warner leads a host of international superstars at Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2015 IPL
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have only been an IPL franchise since 2013 when they replaced Deccan Chargers and immediately promised a lot when they made the play-offs at the first attempt but could only finish sixth in 2014.
It could be argued that they have not settled on a workable plan. Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy at times have all played musical chairs with the captaincy. Now it goes to David Warner for IPL8. It does scream confusion.
Warner, the fiery Aussie opener, may well dovetail better with fellow Australian coach Tom Moody.
It is not an exaggeration to say that the opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner will be key for SRH. That Dhawan is relieved of the captaincy should free him up to rediscover his best form. Can Warner shoulder the responsibility and score runs too? Dhawan’s runs will be vital to Warner as they will take the onus off him to play the reckless shot.
SRH had some work to to at the 2015 IPL Player Auction and conducted a major overhaul to their squad. One of the big spenders they replaced quite a few big names ahead of the eighth edition of the competition.
Aaron Finch, Amit Mishra, Darren Sammy and Irfan Pathan were some of the big names Sunrisers let go when they released as many as 11 players ahead of the auction.
No franchise can play more than four overseas players in an one side, but Sunrisers have foreign talent galore. Kane Williamson, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Moises Henriques, Dale Steyn and Trent Boult all queue up for a chance to shine.
Sunrisers held on to the services of quality international players like Williamson, Boult, Bopara and Morgan as well as experienced Indian players like Praveen Kumar and Laxmi Ratan Shukla.
Kevin Pietersen, who was also bought in the auction, was later released by the franchise to enable the England cricketer take part in the county competition. However, as per the terms of Pietersen’s contract with the franchise, he would join the SRH team in case they make it past the play-offs.
Warner and Steyn surely have to play, so selecting the remaining two and falling on a settled side will be a major task for Moody. An opening bowling pair of Steyn and Boult would be good to watch.
GENERAL TITTLE TATTLE
They made it to the play-offs in their maiden IPL outing in 2013, but only managed 6th in IPL7.
Tom Moody has been the head coach of the Sunrisers since they began. He is supported by former India players Kris Srikkanth and VVS Laxman will continue to play the role of mentors. Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan has been appointed spin coach for IPL8.
THE KEY MAN – David Warner
Australia’s World Cup winning opener David Warner has been given the responsibility of leading the Hyderabad team. The Sunrisers need his runs and his tactical brain. As such he is the key figure in IPL8. If he storms both roles then expect the Sunrisers to go far – but it’s asking a lot.
ONE TO WATCH FOR – Moises Henriques
The biggest question surrounding Moises Henriques is whether he will make it on to the pitch.
With so many quality overseas signings he may have to bid his time, but the 28-year-old Portugese-born Australian is a quality all-rounder who is capable of turning the game in his side’s direction.
SRH are his fifth IPL side – maybe it’s time for him to settle down and show the world what he is capable of. If he does it will be worth watching.
BEST OF THE REST
Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner’s opening partnership could be a massive factor in any success the Sunrisers achieve. They are both capable of putting any opposition attack to the sword. Dhawan bounced back to form in a World Cup where he top scored for India. Without the captaincy Dhawan is free to give his batting everything.
Trent Boult has a near fairytale World Cup with New Zealand. The left-arm speedster was the joint-highest wicket-taker alongside Aussie Mitchell Starc and he will be ket to the Sunrisers. His opening partnership with Dale Steyn could be fierce.
Ishant Sharma‘s recovery from the injury that saw him miss India’s World Cup campaign will be crucial. If he’s back, revved up and on song look out!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar makes up a pace attack that will make opposition sides quake in their boots. Kumar used to be a real force with the ball in Indian cricket but has fallen out of favour and has a lot to prove in IPL8.
FULL SUNRISERS SQUAD
David Warner (capt), Ashish Reddy, Shikhar Dhawan, Chama Milind, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Dale Steyn, KL Rahul, Karn Sharma, Naman Ojha, Moises Henriques, Ricky Bhui, Parveez Rasool, Kevin Pietersen (playoffs only), Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Ravi Bopara, Trent Boult, Praveen Kumar, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Hanuma Vihari, Siddarth Kaul
Sorry to be negative but we really cannot see the Sunrisers having to book Pietersen on a plane for the play-offs. Their batting is light and wins will be hard to come by.
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James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
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