Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership skills will be tested to the wire as he has to rotate and use quite a few explosive foreign players © IANS
Sunrisers Hyderabad would aim to replicate their performance and ever better it when they embark on the long journey of the seventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). They have a power-packed squad with some of the genuine match winners from around the globe in the T20 format. Devarchit Varma profiles the team ahead of IPL 7’s start…
Formerly Deccan Chargers, the Sunrisers Hyderabad made an impressive debut in the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) sixth edition in 2013. The team had success last year as they bowed out of the tournament with a loss to Rajasthan Royals in the eliminator, and they would aim to repeat their commendable performance this year as well. Led by the dashing Shikhar Dhawan, the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise would be fancying their chances in the seventh edition of IPL, which begins on April 16 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Recently, former England captain, Michael Vaughan too felt that they have a good chance of winning the league this season. He wrote on Twitter:
The retention of the likes of Dhawan, pace spearhead Dale Steyn, ace Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra, and the dangerous Darren Sammy gives them an opportunity to put up a playing eleven as strong as any other side in the tournament. The new players who were brought were the explosive Australian batsmen David Warner and Aaron Finch, Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the talented Parvez Rasool and Moises Henriques.
Dhawan was named captain of the side ahead of the West Indies’ Sammy, and this opportunity should help him to resurrect his game ahead of important international series that are lined up for India. Dhawan is an aggressive player by nature and his captaincy could be expected to be in similar fashion as well. He has enough talent at his disposal and the dashing batsman would be aware of the fact that Sunrisers Hyderabad head into the tournament with the ‘favourites’ tag and the pressure should only be taken positively. Dhawan was not a part of the Indian playing eleven in the second half of the ICC World T20 2014 and in IPL 2014 he has the time to think about his game and play with lot of freedom, as compared to when in India colours.
Key Indian Players
The Sunrisers Hyderabad have the likes of Dhawan, Irfan, Mishra, Bhuvneshwar, Ishant Sharma among the Indian players. While Irfan would be looking for a good show in order to strengthen his claims for India comeback, Ishant would aim to make amends and improve his game even more. Naman Ojha told CricketCountry in an interview that his good form could be beneficial for the Sunrisers. Rasool, the Jammu and Kashmir captain too will aim to take his game much ahead. Mishra’s leg-spin provides Sunrisers another weapon in their arsenal.
Key Foreign Players
Sunrisers have a lethal batting line-up as the presence of the likes of Warner, Finch, Henriques and Sammy gives them an opportunity to play around with the playing eleven combinations. Steyn would be the leader of the bowling attack, and his presence ensures that Sunrisers have the other base covered up efficiently. Henriques may find it difficult to break into the playing eleven with every side being allowed only four overseas players in a match, which means the competition within the squad would be healthy and will benefit the side. Also there is the Zimbabwean captain Brendan Taylor, who has the ability to hit the ball a long way when he gets going.
Other Indian Players
Ojha, Srikkanth Aniruddha, Ricky Bhui, Manpreet Juneja, Ashish Reddy, Prasanth Parameswaran, Rasool, Lokesh Rahul and Karn Sharma form the core of the Indian contingent in the Sunrisers’ squad. While the form showed by Ojha and Rahul in the domestic circuit raised hopes of good show from the domestic players in this IPL, the cynosure among these would be Rahul. The Karnataka batsman was in splendid touch in the Ranji Trophy and his good performances would help him to push his case for selection in the national side in the near future. Rasool is another key Indian player.
Overall, the Sunrisers have a balanced squad along with the coaching staff. Tom Moody is the head coach, and the presence of Krishnamachari Srikkanth and VVS Laxman would provide the side good leadership in the tournament. They have the requisite batting firepower, and the bowling department too looks good in terms of creating an impact.
The ordinary form of Indian seamers; Ishant and Bhuvneshwar could be a worry for them. Ishant has the tendency of bowling loose balls in a bid to ‘contain’ the batsmen and Bhuvneshwar too hasn’t been among the wicket-takers of late. However, Bhuvneshwar did impress in the recently-concluded ICC World T20 2014 and one would hope that he carries the momentum and build on it. Apart from Rahul and Ojha to an extent, the Indian contingent is somewhat feeble and this is where the opponents would like to make inroads.
Past Records in each IPL
Sunrisers Hyderabad played the Eliminator in the previous edition, and they would certainly aim to maintain the good run. The Hyderabad franchise had won the IPL back in 2009, but the squad is totally different now.
Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)