Sunrisers Hyderabad have stayed true to their reputation so far. They have an enviable ensemble of players in the auction and seem to have good backups for nearly every spot. While their bowling prowess is well known, the return of David Warner means the team has a lot of firepower in their batting line up.
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) 20 March 2019
Warner’s return is great news for the team. From 2014 to 2017, the explosive Australian opener won the Orange Cap in the tournament twice. Despite his absence last year, Kane Williamson stepped up and was the ended up winning the award himself. The New Zealand skipper is in doubt for this season after suffering an injury during a Test match against Bangladesh, but the team has plenty of options.
Shakib Al Hasan can bat at number three, which is where he plays for Bangladesh. Jonny Bairstow will open the batting with Warner, and Wriddhiman Saha or Martin Guptill could replace him when he leaves to join England in May. SRH’s middle order has Vijay Shankar, Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, and Mohammad Nabi.
Bowling: SRH’s title victory in 2016 was proof of the fact that good bowling attacks are important in T20 matches. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan have been retained. Siddharth Kaul is also likely to be in the playing XI. SRH also have an experienced spinner in their ranks with Shakib. Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Hooda, Sandeep Sharma, and Billy Stanlake are other bowlers who could play a major role this season.
Strengths: For the group stage SRH will have great squad depth. They have generally been known as a bowling-heavy side but this year, they have a strong batting lineup as well. They will be one of the favourites to reach the playoffs.
Weaknesses: Pandey and Pathan had unimpressive seasons last year, and will need to fire if the top order fails.
Another cause for concern will be the mini-exodus of foreign players in May. Warner, Bairstow, Shakib, Nabi and Rashid could all leave to join their national teams for World Cup preparations.
Why they need to be watched: SRH are one of the most balanced squads in the league this year and it will be a surprise if they don’t qualify for the playoffs.
SRH squad: Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Martin Guptill, Wriddhiman Saha.