Ever since their inception from the shadows of the disbanded Deccan Chargers, the Sunrisers Hyderabad team has been a strong force in the league. They always hovered near the playoff spots and never let themselves become a wooden spoon holder or a walkover.
In 2016, it all worked for them perfectly.Having built a team of outrageous pace bowling talent led by the dynamic David Warner, they fired on all cylinders and peaked at the right time to win the title in a close final against Royal Challengers Bangalore. They weren’t the most fancied nor were they the most glamorous, but silently they were a force to reckon with.
Normally when a team is the defending champion (unless there is a fresh auction) they have a well settled team and are a strong contender in the following seasons. The case was never going to be different for the Sunrisers, but some really smart buys in the player auction have increased their chances.
With the captain David Warner and the flamboyant Shikar Dhawan opening the batting for them, they have one of the best pairs starting their innings for them. The presence of a rejuvenated Yuvraj Singh lends them the required fire power and solidarity in the middle order. Sunrisers will hope that that Moises Henriques, Ben Cutting, Naman Ojha, Mohammad Nabi and Deepak Hooda bat around these guys and freely play their natural game.
Though the batting department is one area where Sunrisers can be exploited because of almost all players there being one dimensional and in situations where they don’t get a good start it could be something opponents exploit. The form of David Warner will be crucial as evidently he carried their batting last year.
While their bowling attack catches the attention, the presence of a flurry of all rounders is one impressive quality in the sides. The likes of Moises Henriques, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda and new signing Mohammed Nabi of Afghanistan lend the team terrific balance. All these players are capable batsman who can change the course of an innings with the bat and can be more than handy options to support their main bowlers in breaking the momentum of the opposition.
This is the segment that most teams struggle that sometimes teams struggle due to the limited options. Sunrisers are quite well feed in department with the presence of one of the better keepers in the country in Naman Ojha. They also bought Eklavya Dwivedi in the auction who has previously impressed in the Syed Musthaq Ali trophy and has the potential to be a worthy back up.
The strongest suit of the Sunrisers like last season remains their quick bowlers. Their fast bowling attack is hard to match for any team and is something that gives them an edge over their competitors. The discipline of Nehra, swing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and variations of Mustafizur Rahman makes it one fantastic attack who complement each other perfectly. Adding to this options like Barinder Sran, Abhimanyu Mithun and uncapped Mohammed Siraj. They also have further overseas backs ups in Ben Laughlin and Chris Jordan. The presence of medium pace options from all-rounders in Henriques and Ben Cutting who can do their share of damage too is something that adds strength to your attack. This ensures they have sufficient quality back up to a magnificent attack and hence they are well covered for any situation that may occur.
Spinners- The lack of a good spin bowling attack to support their pacers was an area of a concern for the Sunrisers management. This was aggregated due to the now released Karn Sharma underperforming which put too much pressure on the inexperienced Bipul Sharma. To address the issue the franchise has bought 18 year old Afghanistan leg spinner Rashid Khan and the 45 year old Pravid Tambe. This makes their spin bowling attack a more competent one and gives greater balance to their overall composition. All rounders like Mohammed Nabi , Deepak Hooda and Yuvraj Singh give them more than decent options when required.
The Sunrisers have a very well balanced team who are capable of playing well in various conditions. They have a good mixture of youth and experience which has the ability of lifting the title again provided some of their star players are at the top of their game.