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Sunrisers Hyderabad pulled above their weight in the 2013 edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) by reaching the later stages of the tournament. So, it won’t surprise anyone that they have retained two of their cornerstones who heralded their remarkable progress during the last season in Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy. Bharath Ramaraj has more…
In any TwentyT20 (T20) tournament, it is important to have a genuine pacer who can take wickets upfront and has that aura of bowling with fire and brimstone. Speed merchant, Dale Steyn, has on numerous occasions shown the ability to take a slew of wickets with the new cherry and put the opposition under immense pressure right from the start of the innings. He may not be the best death-over bowler, but with him around, it is guaranteed that he will snare a few wickets during the initial phase of the match. His invaluable contributions to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s side in 2013 made him an obvious pick to be retained.
Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, on his day can floor the opposition into submission with his breathtaking stroke-play. During the 2013 edition, after making a comeback from injury that he suffered during the Test series against Australia, he shone brightly by doing well on difficult surfaces. His power packed shots, punctuated by precise metre of timing made him a sure bet to be picked by Hyderabad. He is also the captain of the side.
The retention would have given sleepless nights to Hyderabad’s think-tank. Finally, they decided not to retain the all-round ability of Darren Sammy or the glowing young talent of Quinton de Kock. Sammy, in 2013, gave them the much needed impetus in the end overs with his power hitting. On the slow and low wickets of Hyderabad, his brand of military medium pace would have come in handy. He also has the experience of being a captain. But they can still get him through the ‘Right to Act’ option.
They can get two players through this option and both Sammy and de Kock might still be selected later on. After flopping miserably in the last edition, Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara bowed out of the Hyderabad side, as he wasn’t retained. It is hard to explain his failures for Hyderabad though. Sangakkara’s Sri Lankan teammate and all-rounder, Thisera Perera was always going to be a long shot to be retained.
Hyderabad still have an option of buying him or Ishant Sharma during the auction pool. They may also look for another experienced campaigner or an explosive all-rounder to strengthen their batting line-up when the auctions begin in February.
(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)
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