IPL 2019 Squad Analysis: Sunrisers Hyderabad
The team that always manages to fare pretty well and make it to the top four, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been one of the most consistent teams in the IPL. They are one side that has always had one of the deadliest bowling attacks, if not the deadliest of all! With the likes of Dale Steyn, Trent Boult, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Ashish Nehra and etc. having played for them, SRH have always found their strength in bowling.
They suffered a big blow in 2018, when David Warner, their captain, who had successfully led them to a title victory in 2016, was found guilty in the ugly ball-tampering scandal. Warner was not only banned from International cricket by Cricket Australia for a year but also disallowed to participate in the IPL. It was being seen as a major setback in SRH's preparation plans towards IPL 2018.
The franchise and its stakeholders had already prepared their squads in the auction and now, losing their opening batsman, captain, and marquee player in just one go was seemingly disastrous!
It was then, that SRH decided to rope in England opening batsman Alex Hales, who again, failed to impress with just 148 runs in six innings, without a single fifty and at an average of just above 24 runs.
However, what came as a surprise package was Kane Williamson, who led the side unexpectedly well, and not only finished as the side's best batsman, but the IPL's best batsman as he received the Orange Cap for scoring the most runs in the season.
Williamson, who had always been a semi-season batsman, whom Warner would not make a regular in the XI due to his inconsistency, broke through all the shackles and barriers, as he smashed 735 runs in just 17 matches, striking at 142.5 runs per 100 balls. It was the year we all got to see the real Kane Williamson.
It would be interesting to see how SRH fare in the 2019 IPL when they will have both David Warner and Kane Williamson play for them together. They are sure to wreak havoc with the bat, being a traditionally bowling-powered lineup, we can expect them to do outstandingly well with the bat as well.
Looking at the recent retentions, releases and trades, and the much talked about IPL Auction, let us look at what else might the SRH be looking forward to doing towards the 2019 IPL.
SRH made a smart move by releasing Wriddhiman Saha, who was previously being paid a hefty ₹5 crore while his contribution with the bat was under serious question, and no matter how great a keeper he may be, if he doesn't score with the bat, the amount is just too exorbitant.
They bought him back this year at a very affordable ₹1.2 crore, which makes their stand clear that they are looking at a world-class wicketkeeping option irrespective of his batting abilities.
SRH have also gotten rid of Carlos Braithwaite, who was nothing but overly ordinary for them in 2018, and they would not be much in need of any more all-rounders in the presence of Mohammad Nabi, Shakib and Yusuf Pathan.
They have rightly said goodbye to the English pair of Alex Hales and Chris Jordan, who had been unable to add any value to the side, especially considering their salary tags of ₹1 crore each.
What might come as a surprise to fans is the release of Shikhar Dhawan, one of the backbones of the side, who was traded out for the talented trio of Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma. It might have triggered a sad response from fans, but solely looking at the deal from a business point of view, it seems to be a masterstroke!
Vijay Shankar is a very good middle order batsman who can also bowl a few overs of seam in between, Shahbaz Nadeem is one of the best left-arm spinners in the Indian domestic circuit, has tons of IPL experience. Abhishek Sharma is an exciting talent from the U19 setup. All in all, SRH have made themselves a great deal here if they able to get the best out of the newbies.