The financial matters brought about a premature end upon Deccan Chargers — the erstwhile bosses of Team Hyderabad franchise. Enter Sun Group, the media power house who acquired the stakes of the team, which was renamed Sunrisers Hyderabad. Former Australian all-rounder Tom Moody was roped in as coach and Simon Helmot as his deputy. VVS Laxman and Kris Srikkanth are key members of team management’s hierarchy while Waqar Younis will be the bowling consultant. Kumar Sangakkara will lead the side except at Chennai keeping in mind the security concerns.
The outfit has an immediate challenge to viaduct the memories associated with Chargers and at the same time start the season with some inspiring performances. For starters, the team has a fresh set of personnel and the exuberance of youth is something Sunrisers will be hoping comes to the fore this season. Yet, time and again, the team will be gauged against the Chargers. Sangakkara’s men will be eager to emulate Hyderabad’s trophy triumph of 2009 and have their work cut out.
Sangakkara notched up heaps of runs against a miserable Bangladesh. He is in great form and would be hoping to carry that throughout the tournament. The squad has quite a few impact players. Dale Steyn is currently the world’s most complete bowler whose forte is swing and pace. He has the ability to run through the sides and the Sunrisers would want Steyn to strike early.
Darren Sammy, who led West Indies to their maiden ICC World Twenty20 title at Colombo in 2012, is a fresh face in the team. He is a utility player who has the knack of picking up wickets and also uses the long handle while batting. Jean-Paul Duminy is a street-smart cricketer who runs hard between the wickets and also controls the innings. Cameron White, who has captained Chargers in the previous editions, gets yet another chance to prove his skills. Thisara Perera and Nathan McCullum are handy all-rounders in the scheme of things. Clint McKay, the Australian medium pacer, varies his pace a lot — an asset which is useful on Indian conditions. Quinton de Kock, a resourceful South African wicketkeeper-batsman can lend balance to the side.
Shikhar Dhawan is in red hot form. His recent exploits on debut — 187 against Australia at Mohali — makes him a vital cog in the Sunrisers’s batting line-up. In fact it was Dhawan who had top-scored for Chargers (569 runs) in the previous edition. Unfortunately, Dhawan is nursing an injury and will only take part in the later phase of the tournament.
Ishant Sharma, the tall lanky Indian fast bowler, would be looking to make an impact in the tournament; he will be partnering Steyn with the new ball. If Ishant gets into his groove, that is good news for Sunrisers since he has shown his promise with the ball on quite a few occasions playing for the country. Amit Mishra, the leg-spinner, will be looking to bowl well and get his rhythm back. He has the important task of bowling in the middle overs.
Sangakkara would do well to marshal his resources and expect consistent teamwork rather than individual brilliance from Steyn or himself for a longer duration. Chargers, in the previous seasons, relied too heavily on their foreign players like Shahid Afridi, Andrew Symonds and Herschelle Gibbs, which brought about their downfall.
Hopefully backing of a behemoth organization, the new coach, team mentors, bowling consultant and a set of new players will revive the fortunes of Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kumar Sangakkara (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, DB Ravi Teja, Hanuma Vihari, Nathan McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Prasant Padmanabhan, Quinton deKock, Sachin Rana, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh.
(Sarang Bhaleraohails from a family of doctors, but did his engineering. He then dumped a career in IT with Infosys to follow his heart and passion and became a writer with CricketCountry. A voracious reader, Sarang aspires to beat Google with his knowledge of the game! You can follow him on Twitter @bhaleraosarang)