The Sunrisers Hyderabad had a roller-coaster journey in IPL 2020, with just 4 wins in their first 11 matches. They bounced back to win 4 consecutive and must-win matches in the latter half of the tournament. SRH finished with 8 wins and 6 losses and confirmed 3rd position on the points table.
They beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 6 wickets in the Eliminator match, before losing to Delhi Capitals in Qualifier-2 match.
David Warner (c), Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Sreevats Goswami (wk), Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Priyam Garg, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Virat Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Jason Roy
Like Chennai Super Kings (CSK), SRH also retained a majority of the squad. They released players like Fabian Allen, a West Indian allrounder, and Billy Stanlake, an Australian fast bowler. English hard-hitting opener Jason Roy was drafted as a last-minute replacement to Mitchell Marsh, who cited unavailability.
Sunrisers Hyderabad had signed only 4 players in the auctions. Indian players J Suchith, an all-rounder and Kedar Jadhav as an experienced middle-order batsman who can bowl part-time off-spin. Afghanistan off-spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman was also drafted into the squad. Jason Roy came in as Mitchell Marsh’s replacement, as well as a backup to skipper David Warner, who is not 100% fit as of now.
1. Spin Bowling Depth
The trio of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman have exceptional records while representing Afghanistan in international cricket. SRH also has Abdul Samad and Kedar Jadhav as a part-timers. Not to forget slow left-arm orthodox bowler Shahbaz Nadeem, who has experience of over 100 first-class matches.
While Rashid Khan is the only overseas bowler who might play all the games, Nabi and Mujeeb might come into the squad for a few games given the majority of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s matches are in Chennai.
2. Strong Batting line-up
SRH has a strong top-order with explosive batsmen David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha at the top, followed by Manish Pandey at number 3 and Kane Williamson at number 4. They also have ample back-up in, Vijay Shankar, Jason Roy, youngsters Priyam Garg and Abhishek Sharma. They also have in-form Jason Holder and Kedar Jadhav as finishers. SRH’s new-found talent, Abdul Samad, might also be used as a finisher if needed.
3. Bowlers in good form
The Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T. Natarajan have played a few games in the recent series against England and have shown good form. The West Indian bowler, Jason Holder, has played all format games against Sri Lanka and has looked in good touch. Sandeep Sharma has had a decent Syed Mushtaq Ali season while Shahbaz Nadeem too looked in good touch.
1. No suitable back-up for middle-order batsmen
There has had no suitable backup for the middle-order of SRH over the years and this might haunt them again. SRH might be forced to play bits and pieces all-rounders in the middle-order in case any of them fails due to poor form or injury.
2. Wicket-Keeper Problem
While Sunrisers Hyderabad has three wicket-keepers, this has caused an entirely different problem altogether. Playing Jonny Bairstow might be difficult given the overseas player limit. This means that Wriddhiman Saha might play many matches and he has been prone to injuries over the past few years. Shreevats Goswami hasn’t done anything memorable in most of the chances given to him. Adding another wicket-keeper to their squad could have been helpful for SRH.
Wriddhiman Saha hits a four (Sunrisers Hyderabad | Instagram)
The X-factor for SRH squad could be none other than the latest signing, Jason Roy. He had a good T20I and ODI series against India in India and this is something which is going to benefit SRH if he gets a chance to play. Plus he is someone who can change gears as per the situation. And, though it looks unlikely, if he gets to open with his England partner Jonny Bairstow, this duo can cause a lot of destruction.
Featured Image: Sunrisers Hyderabad | Twitter
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