IPL: SRH's best all-time XI
- An all-time SRH XI comprising players in various positions who have represented the franchise in the IPL
- Most of the said players are still active with the current SRH squad.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been one of the more consistent teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Hyderabad-based team has failed to reach the play-off on only two occasions in the seven seasons they have been a part of the prestigious league.
SRH had their best finish in the IPL in 2016, the season in which they won their only IPL title. Over the years, the Hyderabad based franchise has built its team around a strong bowling core. Their batting has largely been reliant on a couple of overseas batsmen, with most of the Indian batsmen not performing to their potential.
Our attempt here is to come up with the strongest possible all-time SRH XI comprising players who have represented the franchise in the IPL over the years. The team has been formed keeping in mind the IPL rule of not having more than four foreign players in the playing XI.
Without further ado, let us have a look at the composition of this all-time best SRH XI.
#1: David Warner - Captain
David Warner would undoubtedly be one of the openers in this all-time SRH XI. The Australian is the highest run-scorer for the Hyderabad outfit. He is also the highest run-getter among all overseas batsmen in the history of the IPL.
Warner has amassed 3271 runs for SRH in the IPL. These runs have come at an impressive average of 55.44 and a creditable strike rate of 146.87.
The left-hander has the enviable distinction of being an IPL season top-scorer on three occasions, winning the Orange Cap in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
Warner would also be leading this hypothetical SRH XI. Kane Williamson, with his tactical acumen, is the other candidate to lead this team. But the swashbuckling Australian opener just pips him to the post. SRH's title-winning run in 2016 that came under Warner also works in the left-hander's favour.
#2: Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow would stride out to open the batting with Warner for our all-time SRH XI. The Warner-Bairstow duo set the 2019 IPL alight with their breathtaking assault on opposition bowlers.
Bairstow smashed 445 runs in just ten innings in his maiden IPL season last year. The Englishman's impact can be gauged from the fact that both his average (55.62) and strike rate (157.24) are the highest among all SRH batsmen who have faced a minimum of 125 balls in the IPL.
Middle Order (3-6)
#3: Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan would take his place at No.3 in this all-time SRH XI. Although Dhawan is predominantly an opening batsman, the left-hander would have to cede his opening spot considering the formidable partnership forged by Warner and Bairstow last year.
Dhawan is the highest run-getter among Indian batsmen for SRH, having accumulated 2518 runs at a decent average of 34.49. His strike rate of 124.48 is acceptable considering that Warner would invariably give the team a flying start.
#4: Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson would be the stabilising influence in the middle order. The Kiwi has been one of the most consistent batsmen for SRH although he has not always made it to the playing XI due to the four foreign player rule.
Williamson has scored 1302 runs for SRH in the IPL, at an average of 38.29 and a strike rate of 135.06. The New Zealand captain lends solidity to the middle-order and is more than capable of playing the big shots as well.
The calm and collected middle-order batsman won the Orange Cap in IPL 2018. That season Williamson finished the season with 735 runs to his credit. In the process, he almost single-handedly took SRH to the IPL final in the absence of Warner.
#5: Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey would bat at the No.5 position in this all-time SRH outfit. The Karnataka middle-order batsman was not at his best for SRH in 2018 but gave a decent account of himself last year.
Overall, Pandey has aggregated 628 runs for SRH in the two seasons he has been a part of the Orange army. These runs have come at an average of 33.05 and a strike rate of 123.37.
Pandey has been somewhat of a saving grace in an otherwise disappointing Indian middle-order for SRH.
#6: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh would take the final middle-order spot in this all-time SRH XI. The southpaw did not have the greatest of times with SRH but still makes it to the team on the back of a few good performances.
Singh managed to score 488 runs for SRH, doing so at an underwhelming average of 27.11 and with a strike rate of 137.07. But with none of the other Indian middle-order batsmen covering themselves with glory for the franchise, Singh gets the nod for the No. 6 slot.
Although the dashing middle-order batsman did not bowl much for SRH, he would be the best part-time option in the absence of genuine all-rounders in this all-time XI.
Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Thisara Perera can be considered as all-round options. But they would not get the nod as their performances, especially with the bat, have left a lot to be desired to merit a place in the XI as one of the four overseas players.
#7: Rashid Khan
Rashid Khan, arguably the world's best leg-spinner, would lead the SRH spin attack in the team's all-time XI. The Afghanistan leg-spinner has an exceptional record for the Hyderabad team.
Khan has scalped 55 wickets for SRH in the IPL. His average of 21.69 and an economy rate of 6.55 are both the best among all SRH bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 250 deliveries in the competition. Rashid Khan has the second-best economy rate in the history of the IPL, behind only Shaun Pollock (6.54).
The young Afghanistani player can also strike some lusty blows with the bat down the order. His strike rate of 165.07 is an ample proof of his ball-striking ability.
#8: Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar would spearhead the SRH pace attack in this all-time XI. The Uttar Pradesh seam bowler is the only player in the history of the IPL to have won the Purple Cap in two consecutive seasons, doing so in IPL 2016 and IPL 2017.
Kumar is the highest wicket-taker for SRH in the IPL. He has accounted for 109 wickets for the Hyderabad franchise at an excellent average of 22.33 along with a decent economy rate of 7.41. The wily swing bowler has proved to be SRH's most effective bowler both with the new and the old ball.
#9: Siddarth Kaul
In the franchise's all-time XI, Siddarth Kaul would be the death bowler for SRH along with Bhubaneshwar Kumar. The Punjab quick is the third-highest wicket-taker for SRH, only behind Kumar and Khan.
Kaul has 43 scalps to his name for SRH at an average of 25.32 runs. Although his economy rate of 8.46 is slightly on the higher side, it is acceptable considering that he bowls most of his overs at the fag end of opposition innings.
#10: Amit Mishra
Amit Mishra would be the other spinner in this all-time SRH XI. In our hypothetical team, the Haryana leg-spinner would form an attacking spin bowling combination with Rashid Khan.
Mishra, who has plied his trade for multiple teams in the IPL, has accounted for 28 wickets for SRH. These wickets have come at a decent average of 26.21 and an economy rate of 7.37.
Mishra also has the distinction of being the only bowler in the history of the IPL to have claimed three hat-tricks. His hat-trick haul includes one he took for SRH against Pune Warriors India. Mishra is the only bowler to take a hat-trick for the franchise.
#11: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra would take the final seam bowler's spot in this SRH all-time XI. The Delhi left-arm quick would provide the required variety to the attack of the Hyderabad team's all-time XI.
Nehra scalped 17 wickets for SRH at an average of 23.29 and an economy rate of 8.39 in the two seasons he represented the franchise. He formed a lethal combination with Bhuvneshwar Kumar in 2016 that went a long way in helping SRH win their only IPL title.
Khaleel Ahmed, with his outstanding performances for SRH in the last couple of seasons, could present his case for the final slot in the team's all-time XI. But Nehra gets the nod over Ahmed due to his superior experience and pedigree.
Mustafizur Rahman, who also had an excellent IPL 2016, could stake a claim as well. But the Fizz would struggle to make the all-time SRH team as one of only four possible overseas options.