Ahead of the tenth season of the Indian Premier League, I analyse the strengths, weaknesses and the key performance indicators of the eight teams. IPL 2017 is set to commence on April 5th, with the first match of the season between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Hyderabad.
Last season, Hyderabad had the second lowest bowling average, the lowest economy rate and the lowest seam bowling average and economy rate. At the auction, they added Afghanistan’s spinners Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan to complement their seam bowling attack of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Barinder Sran and Mustafizur Rahman.
Last season, their spin attack recorded the highest average and economy rate among all teams. The two spinners therefore, will provide much-needed cover for their existing weakness in the spin bowling department. If both Nabi and Khan do play, Hyderabad’s bowling attack will have the makings of one of the best ever in T20 cricket.
Weakness: Indian middle order
Hyderabad's Indian middle order of Yuvraj Singh, Deepak Hooda and Naman Ojha scored just 20% of Hyderabad's runs last season. Fortunately, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan’s form masked such deficiencies.
Key Performance Indicator: Indian middle order
If Hyderabad’s middle order do perform well it is likely they will be fairly successful. Their bowling attack is good enough to defend almost anything and with Warner and Dhawan at the top, contributions from that middle order will make them a formidable opponent.