Former IPL champions Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to get going in the first phase of IPL 2021. The Orange Army managed only one win in seven matches. Because of the team's poor performance, the management sacked David Warner as the captain and assigned the team's reins to Kane Williamson.
Warner was even dropped from the playing XI because his strike rate was not up to the mark. However, a lot of things have changed since the first phase of IPL 2021. The Sunrisers Hyderabad will probably give Warner one more chance to prove himself, not as captain but definitely as a batsman.
If SRH want to make it to the next round, they need to win almost all of their remaining matches. And before Sunrisers Hyderabad resume their campaign against Delhi Capitals on September 21, here's a look at their possible playing XI for that game.
Openers - David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha (WK)
After a forgettable first phase of IPL 2021, David Warner will look forward to making a fresh start in the United Arab Emirates. The left-handed batsman has fond memories of playing in the Gulf nation, having aggregated 548 runs in 16 matches last year.
With Jonny Bairstow unavailable, SRH will likely assign wicket-keeping responsibility to Wriddhiman Saha. The Indian wicket-keeper batsman scored 214 runs in just four matches in the UAE during IPL 2020.
Middle Order - Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (C) and Kedar Jadhav
The experienced trio of Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson and Kedar Jadhav will probably form SRH's middle-order. Pandey will aim to play with better consistency, while Williamson will have the onus of leading from the front.
Kedar Jadhav has one last chance to revive his career. He failed in the UAE last year, and Sunrisers Hyderabad fans will hope for a better performance from their Indian star.
All rounders - Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan
During IPL 2021's Indian leg, Sunrisers Hyderabad dropped David Warner to include Mohammad Nabi in the team. Now that there is one vacant overseas spot in the playing XI due to Jonny Bairstow's unavailability, both Nabi and Warner should start.
Rashid Khan and Abdul Samad are locks for the other all-rounders' spots because of their performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad so far.
Bowlers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan and Khaleel Ahmed
If Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan perform at their best, it will be very tough for the opposition batsmen to score runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Both pacers are among the top T20 players in India.
In Khaleel Ahmed, SRH have got a wicket-taking option. The left-arm pacer can form a lethal combination with Kumar and Natarajan. SRH also have the options of Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma available in their pace attack.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's predicted XI for 1st match in UAE leg
David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (WK), Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson (C), Kedar Jadhav, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed.