The Sunrisers Hyderabad enjoyed a fairly eventful 2020 Indian Premier League campaign with lots of ups and downs. Despite injury troubles and several other roadblocks, they made the play-offs and eventually finished third in the tournament.
With the IPL now over, the focus of the Sunrisers Hyderabad coaches and team management will turn to next year's auction. They will have to figure out which players they should retain or release ahead of next year's season.
There are several players in danger of being released, and a number of star performers could find themselves released from the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad.
Captain David Warner, star bowler Rashid Khan, Kane Williamson, Jason Holder, as well as their talented young core are the only ones who can truly feel safe. We look at four players who should be released by the Sunrisers Hyderabad ahead of next year's IPL.
Bairstow actually scored the Sunrisers Hyderabad's highest individual score in the 2020 IPL with his 97. He averaged 31.36 and had a decent strike rate of 126.83. However, that wasn't enough to prevent him from getting dropped to the Sunrisers Hyderabad bench for the final few games of the season.
It's clear that Williamson and Holder are now ahead of Bairstow in the pecking order, while Warner and Rashid remain mainstays.
The England wicket-keeper's inconsistencies, as well as limitations, mean that the Sunrisers Hyderabad would be better off splashing the money on another player, who will perform consistently when required to.
Another player who could be on the way out Sunrisers Hyderabad is Fabian Allen. The West Indies all-rounder did not play a single game all season despite the fact that the Sunrisers Hyderabad were missing players who could bat in the middle order.
That should tell you all you need to know about Allen's prospects at Hyderabad. Had Mitchell Marsh not gotten injured, Allen would have been even further down the pecking order.
As the Sunrisers Hyderabad look to add a better balance to the team at next year's auction, they should let go of Fabian Allen. Doing this, will open up an overseas spot in the squad for a player who can give them the all-round quality that they need.
Much like Fabian Allen, Nabi was hardly used by the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2020 IPL. The Afghanistan all-rounder is nearing the end of his career and needs to be playing regularly. He is too good to just sit on the bench and could make an impact for another team next season.
Hyderabad just don't have space or a need for another bowling all-rounder, with Rashid Khan, Abdul Samad and Jason Holder all ahead of Nabi in the team's pecking order.
Nabi has done a great job for the Sunrisers over the years, but after being limited to just one game this season, his time with the franchise is likely to come to an end before the next IPL.
Khaleel Ahmed was only limited to seven games in this IPL despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar's injury. When he played, he simply wasn't good enough. The left-arm pacer took just eight wickets in his seven games at an expensive economy rate of 9.42.
By the end of the 2020 IPL, Khaleel Ahmed was behind Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan and Shahbaz Nadeem in the bowling pecking order. Once Bhuvneshwar Kumar returns, Ahmed will not be given much of a chance in the starting eleven.
Hyderabad have a healthy pace-bowling depth with Basil Thampi and Siddarth Kaul both waiting in the wings. If given a real chance, they can be much more economical and consistent than Ahmed. So don't be surprised if Khaleel Ahmed is on Hyderabad's released list ahead of next season.Published 12 Nov 2020, 15:59 IST