They are well-rounded in both the bowling and batting departments. That meant SRH did not need to make aggressive buys in the IPL auction in February, as they have most of their bases covered as the new season approaches.
SRH begin their IPL 2021 campaign on April 11 in Chennai against Kolkata Knight Riders. They will play their first five games at the Chepauk before shifting base to Delhi for their next three games.
The SRH contingent will fly east to Kolkata to play their three matches before ending their league campaign with two games in Bengaluru. They will surely miss their orange army this year, as all teams will play their league games in neutral venues owing due to the pandemic situation.
Before their IPL 2021 campaign, Sunrisers Hyderabad released B Sandeep, Billy Stanlake, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen and Yarra Prithviraj from their roster.
During the 2021 IPL Auctions, they made a few clever purchases, bringing in Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Jagadeesha Suchith to plug the minor holes in their roster.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Squad for IPL 2020:
David Warner(c), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Abdul Samad, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and Jagadeesha Suchith.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have mostly been a top-heavy side with a brittle and inexperienced middle order. The situation got a bit better since they started using Kane Williamson at no. 4. Now they have a seasoned campaigner in Kedar Jadhav who could produce match-winning contributions while finishing the innings.
On that note, let us look at the best possible combination for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the upcoming IPL season.
David Warner (c) and Jonny Bairstow (wk)
Jonny Bairstow had an indifferent IPL campaign with the bat last year, mustering only 345 runs at a below-par average of 31.36 in 11 games, with 97 being his highest score.
The numbers were not too bad when viewed in isolation. But Bairstow had set high standards during his debut IPL campaign in 2019. He had scored 445 runs in ten matches, doing so at a staggering average of 55.62, with 114 being his best score.
In IPL 2020, the pitch conditions were sluggish in UAE, so Bairstow struggled to play his natural attacking game. This year, with the IPL returning to India, that should augur well for Bairstow's hopes of a blistering campaign for Surnrisers Hyderabad.
Towards the end of last season, Wriddhiman Saha paired up with David Warner up front. But this season, Sunrisers Hyderabad might go back to Bairstow and Warner as their opening combination.
Across all the IPL teams, David Warner and Bairstow arguably form the most destructive opening pair.
Sunrisers Hyderabad will hope that the duo is able recreate the magic they created in the 2019 edition of the tournament and provide electric starts to the team in the powerplay.
Wriddhiman Saha, Abhishek Sharma and Priyam Garg are other viable options available should one of Werner or Bairstow struggle to get going.
Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Virat Singh, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad
Manish Pandey should bat no. 3, as he has impressed in that position for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his last two IPL campaigns. He made 425 runs in IPL 2020, doing so at an average of 32.69, scoring three fifties. Sunrisers Hyderabad could give him a longer rope in the top order and expect more consistency from the player.
Kane Williamson is expected to feature at the no. 4 position for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He will be tasked to anchor the innings by providing stability to the team's fragile middle order. Williamson should receive support from Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav, who has represented India in T20I's.
Abdul Samad is likely to be the designated finisher for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The Jammu & Kashmir lad made a rollicking debut in the IPL last year, displaying his power-hitting skills by hitting famed international pacers for massive sixes. He had a strike rate of 170.76, which was the best by any Sunrisers Hyderabad player.
Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad and Kedar Jadhav will also have to bowl the fifth bowlers' quota for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Kedar Jadhav's golden arm is known for delivering breakthroughs at crucial junctures of games. Samad can chip in with a few overs of leg-spin when needed. Vijay Shankar had a decent time with the ball in the IPL last season, picking up four wickets at an excellent economy rate of 6.22; only Rashid Khan (5.37) had a better economy rate than him in the Sunrisers Hyderabad team.
Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder and Nabi could most likely get the opportunity in the XI only when one of Sunrisers Hyderabad's established international players gets injured or struggles for form.
Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan
After missing for most of the previous IPL season due to injury, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will be back to lead Sunrisers Hyderabad's bowling attack this year. The ever-reliable Rashid Khan could be the lone frontline spinner in Sunrisers Hyderabad's ideal XI. Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan will likely round off the lineup.
Natarajan was one of the breakout stars in the last edition of IPL. His impressive performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad were noted duly by the national selectors, who selected him for the national team for the tour of Australia.
Natarajan shouldered most of the burden of death-over bowling in the last IPL season. But this time, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's presence could ease the pressure on him.
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Vijay Shankar, Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan.