This year too, the team has all the right elements to become successful. As Hyderabad gears up to conquer India again, Cricketnext takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the team and also predict where they would finish in this year’s IPL.
The Hyderabad team did well to form a team similar to the one in previous editions. Apart from retaining Bhuvneshwar Kumar and David Warner (Not Available), they went in for players like Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan and Kane Williamson, who have spent ample time at SRH and have been the key to team’s success. All these players know each others game well, and that would hold the team in good stead.
SRH have a great pool of all-rounders who can turn the match around with their batting, as well as bowling. Apart from having tried-and-tested foreign players like Shakib Al Hasan, Carlos Brathwaite and Mohammad Nabi, they have reliable, talented Indian all-rounders like Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan. With the presence of these two, SRH can always play an extra batsman just to strengthen their middle-order.
This is certainly SRH’s strongest area—pace bowling. The attack will be spearheaded by the ever-reliable Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He had picked 27 wickets in the last edition of the tournament, and was the Purple Cap holder too. He holds the record for most wickets by an SRH bowler too (87). Kumar can open the bowling, and can bowl well in the death too, that makes him really dangerous in this format. He will be supported by Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul and Basil Thampi. It would not be easy for opposition batsmen to get past bowlers of this high quality.
SRH is going to miss the services of Australian batsman David Warner. The southpaw opener was banned by Cricket Australia due to his involvement in ball tampering scandal, and was later barred from taking part in IPL too. In the recent years, Warner was SRH’s biggest match-winner, at least the numbers suggest so. He is their highest run-getter (2579) across all seasons, and has scored 27 fifties playing for the team. Not only that, such has been his dominance with the bat, that he has been their highest run-scorer for SRH in the last four editions of the tournament. Realistically, none of the players can replace him in the team. Hyderabad will miss, Warner—the leader, too. He led them to the title in 2016.
Wriddhiman Saha is India’s first-choice wicket-keeper when it comes to Test cricket. But he doesn’t reinstate that kind of faith when it comes to T20s. Although he has done reasonably well in the previous editions of the IPL, his strike rate of 125 in the previous edition, might be a cause of worry. Also Saha is coming back after an injury lay-off. The other keeper in the team, Shreevats Goswami is coming back to the IPL fold after 2012, so not much can be expected from him.
Although there is no Warner this time round, SRH has another impact player who holds the key to their success this season, and that’s Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. In his debut IPL season he made a mark for himself as he picked 17 wickets from 14 games. To go with that, he has an economy rate of 6.62. He is coming from a brilliant ICC World Cup Qualifiers, were he became the fastest bowler in history of ODIs to pick 100 wickets. He would be raring to go again, as not many batsmen round the world have been able to pick his wrong’un. He is no dud with the bat, and can hit a few lusty blows towards the end of the innings.
Sans Warner it is going to be a tough ask for Hyderabad team to get their combination right. But if they can get their batting sorted, they are strong contenders for making it to the play-offs.
Basil Thampicricket australiaDavid Warnerdeepak hoodaIPL 11IPL 2018Kane Williamsonshikhar dhawansunrisers hyderabadtom moody
First Published: April 7, 2018, 11:39 AM IST