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Assessing IPL Teams: Sunrisers Hyderabad

After months of speculations and innumerable bids to sell the team, the owners of the ‘Deccan Chargers’ were able to sell their team off to the Sun TV group. The team will now be called as the Sunrisers, a name I am personally not a big fan of. The new management has rightly put some of the best people in the sport at the helm, with V.V.S Laxman being named the mentor for the players and Tom Moody being named the coach for this side. The team already had Indian stars like Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra, international stars like Dale Steyn, Jean Paul Duminy, Kumar Sangakkara and T-20 expert Cameron White. The team also bought some interesting players at the 2013 auctions and the Sunrisers are hoping to give the people of Hyderabad something to cheer.

Sunrisers_Hyderabad

Auction picks

The 3 men who are the face of the Sunrisers at this year’s IPL – V.V.S Laxman, Kris Srikanth and Tom Moody – were all present at the auctions and had a certain plan ready when it came to picking players up for this season. They had retained 20 players from last year and needed to fill in the slots for those who were gone. The 3 gentlemen were inactive for a long time after the auctions began and later went on to pick 4 international players and a lone Indian. They probably intend to add a few more Indians from the domestic circuit after the auctions.

The players picked by the Sunrisers at the IPL Auction 2013:
1. Nathan Mc’cullum:
2. Quinton D’cock
3. Clinton McKay
4. Darren Sammy
5. Thisara Perrera
6. Sudeep Tyagi

The Sunrisers, as you can see, did not bid for some of the bigger names at the auction but their focus was to pick players who would add value to their roles. They also did not go after the Indians at the auction and as they have always maintained they would aim to groom youngsters from the domestic circuit along with some lesser known international stars to build a team.

Quinton D’cock is a wicket keeper and both Sudeep Tyagi and Clinton McKay are medium pacers. The other three are utility players who can fit into any role set out for them. The main problem, however, is finding spots for these wonderful players who play for the various franchises the world over.

The Team Composition

The final list of players has been announced by the owners and the Sunrisers have a total of 27 players which includes a total of 11 international players. Dale Steyn will be a vital cog, and his 4 overs will determine how the game turns out for the Sunrisers.

The squad is full of young and exciting talent; yet, there are a lot of holes that the side will need to plug in the days to come. This team will play only one season, and thus the coach has to make sure that he uses his resources well given the lack of Indian talent and the abundance of good foreign players.

The top order does look good with Kumar Sangakkara and Shikhar Dhawan most likely to take the opening slots. The injury to Shikhar Dhawan could be a worry, but I am sure Parthiv Patel will cover up for the duration during which Dhawan is absent.

There are young players like Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Bharat Chipli, Akshat and Akshay Reddy, who could make this edition their own with inspiring performances.

Cameron White, J.P.Duminy and Nathan Mcculum, along with Quinton Dcock, could make the middle order strong, but the 4 foreign player limit  will again be back to hurt them.

The bowling looks safe in the hands of Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma, but Ishant Sharma will have to be accurate and look to take wickets. Amit Mishra could again work up some magic and stake a claim for the national spot. Clinton McKay and Juan Theron could add variety to the attack, but it looks highly unlikely that they will get many games.

Dale Steyn's bowling will be the key for the Sunrisers

Dale Steyn’s bowling will be the key for the Sunrisers

Youngsters like Anand Rajan, Biplab Samantaray and Ankit Sharma could also help their cause by contributing consistently.

The Likely XI

Kumar Sangakkara
Shikhar Dhawan (depending on his fitness)
Parthiv Patel (WK)
D Ravi Teja
Cameron White/Darren Sammy
J. P. Duminy/ N.McCullum
Bharat Chipli/A.Reddy
A.Jhunjhunwala
Ishant Sharma
Amit Mishra
Dale Steyn/Clinton McKay

The 5 Verdict points:

1. The lack of quality Indian batsman will hurt the Sunrisers.
2. Kumar Sangakkara and Dale Steyn will have to be at their best for at least 8 of the 16 games.
3. Ishant Sharma will have to take a lot of responsibility and bowl well in the Power Play.
4. The youngsters will have to make sure that they take responsibility. Team effort can help them a lot.
5. Do not expect a lot from the team as it may not make it to the top 4 unless a miracle takes place.

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