Bhuvneshwar Kumar (left) and David Warner have been two pillars for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) over the years    BCCI
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (left) and David Warner have been two pillars for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) over the years BCCI

Over years, David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been two pillars for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). SRH have heavily relied on these two. Warner won the Orange Cap twice in last three seasons and finished next to Virat Kohli in 2016, the year SRH won the title. Bhuvi, on the other hand, won the Purple Cap in the previous two editions and is most successful Indian pacer in the tournament.

Warner’s suspension comes as a huge blow to the Orange Army. Along with Steven Smith, Warner was handed a year-long ban by Cricket Australia for his involvement in ball-tampering saga. Subsequently, BCCI too barred them from participating in IPL this year. SRH had to replace Warner with Kane Williamson as the side’s captain, whereas Bhuvi has been appointed vice-captain.

“Of course, we will miss him,” Bhuvneshwar told Mail Today. “A batsman like him can single-handedly win you matches. You always want someone like him and he was playing so well as a batsman and as a captain. His replacement [Alex Hales] is also good but it will not be easy to fill his shoes.”

“Williamson is superb”

Though Warner’s absence as leader and batsman will be a void to fill, Bhuvi believes Williamson is capable enough to lead the side to glory: “He’s a superb captain. We know how good he has been for New Zealand in the past few years. He is a calm guy and knows what he is doing as a skipper. Last season, he helped Warner a lot. The management gave him the opportunity and everyone trusts him, so I am sure he’ll do a good job.”

Australia ball-tampering scandal: All we know
Australia ball-tampering scandal: All we know

Bhuvi received an A+ grade contract from the BCCI last month. He has emerged as India’s mainstay across formats and primarily known for his ability to generate movement, he believes he has changed over the years and he has added extra pace to his armoury: “First thing, I am happy that I made a lot of improvement since my debut till now. I am quite different to what I was four-five years back, particularly when it comes to limited-over cricket. My bowling has changed, especially in the last two years, my pace has improved and my swing is still there. So yes, I am quite satisfied with the progress,” he explained.

With Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Bipul Sharma, SRH is laden with quality spin-bowling all-rounders and Bhuvi believes bowlers will be the key contributors in their campaign.