Sunrisers Hyderabad team had a good run in the recent IPL’s, winning the 2016th edition and finishing at 3rd position in the 2017 league. The team lead by David Warner & coached by Tom Moody is known to give good importance to the balance between bat and ball in their team selections. Lets see how their squad looks like for the 2018 edition of IPL.
Starting with their batting –
Top order has always been a strength for Sunrisers. If ever there was a chink in their armour it was a lack of performing Indian middle order player. They have plugged the hole this time by bidding for Manish Pandey. He was their highest purchase in the auction at 11 Cr INR.
David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan are the most experienced opening pair at the IPL. They are ranked 5th and 8th amongst the all time run getters in IPL history. Kane Williamson had a lean 2018 in T20’s, averaging under 18 runs having played 9 games this seasons. But the world class batsman, he would be able to bounce bank whenever Sunrisers field him. Apart from Manish Pandey, the rest of the Indian middle order batsmen are yet to prove themselves on big stage.
A huge onus on the opening pair to deliver big for the Sunrisers. Given their consistent track record, they should hold Sunrisers hyderabad in good stead.
Amongst all the IPL teams, Sunrisers has the highest emphasis on their bowling. In Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan they have two proven matchwinners who can both stifle the bowlers with their miserly spells and also take wickets during crunch overs. Billy Stanlake can wreck havoc in the first powerplay as we have recently seen during the T20 Tri-series against New Zealand. He is a steal, Sunrisers having bought him at his base price of 50 Lakhs. Its still early days, but he could be as effective a bowler as Mitchell Staarc, whom Kolkata Knight Riders have bought at a price 19 times that of Stanlakes.
Sunrisers have also picked up swing bowler Sandeep Sharma who can be a good foil for Bhuvaneshwar with his tight lines. They also have a promising bench strength in bowling.
As with every year, they have the best bowling attack in the tournament. Rashid continues to be the top ranked t20 bowler in the world. And Ricky Ponting has some kind words for Stanlake.
Next about the Allrounders –
This is one area where Sunrisers seems to have a conscious change to their strategy. Henriques played a consistent role as a Number 3 batsmen in stabilizing their innings, Ben Cutting provided them lusty hits lower down the order when needed. But both can’t be banked upon to bowl their full quota of 4 overs. Infact Henriques hardly bowls these days.
Sunrisers seems to have opted for Shakib Al Hassan and Mohammad Nabi for the Allrounder slots because in addition to their lower order hitting, both of them are capable of bowling their full 4 overs. The likes of Yusuf Pathan and Carlos Braithwaite can be used as specialist batsmen.
We have included Wicketkeepers in the Allrounder category. Naman Ojha for all his promise was not consistent last year. When it comes to Wicket keepers, Wriddhiman Saha is a sedate yet decent choice. With Saha, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hassan, Yusuf Pathan changing teams, KKR fans who want to switch loyalties might find Sunrisers hyderabad a good choice.
Sunrisers do not have a allrounder in the mould of Ben Stokes, Andre Russel or Hardhik Pandya who can turn the match on its head, but has a decent bunch who can get the work done with locksmith precision. Both Nabi and Shakib are ranked 2nd and 3rd in the ICC T20 Allrounder ranking.
As a team, without doubt Sunrisers have the most balanced side going into the tournament. The team has no visible flaws but if we have to pick one – they are one x factor middle order batsmen short.
Having said that, It would be tough for teams to pile up huge totals against them, and their top orders can finish matches on their own.
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