Sunrisers Hyderabad made their debut in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2013. They replaced the Deccan Chargers, who had earlier won the coveted trophy in 2009.
Sunrisers Hyderabad won their maiden and only IPL title in 2016 and finished as runners-up in the 2018 edition. They have reached the playoffs in each of the last five IPL seasons.
The IPL 2021 auction provided the perfect opportunity for the franchise to address its shortcomings. The team acquired the services of Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur Rahman, and J Suchith for the upcoming IPL season.
The team has a good mix of Indians as well as overseas players who have considerable experience of playing IPL as well as international cricket.
Here are three of the reasons why the franchise from Hyderabad could be the dark horse for IPL 2021:
1. Indian bowlers with considerable experience in IPL
Sunrisers Hyderabad boasts abundant bowling options.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the leader of the pace attack. He made a remarkable comeback in the recently concluded series against England. Kumar has an incredible record in the IPL as well, having picked up 136 wickets at an impressive average of 23.92. He bowls well with the new ball in the power-play overs and is a much-improved bowler at the death too.
T. Natarajan had an impressive outing with team India in Australia. Being a left-handed bowler, he brings a lot of variety to the bowling attack. In 22 IPL games, the left-handed pacer has 18 wickets to his credit. He has shown marked improvement over the last 3-4 months and will spearhead the bowling attack with Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Sandeep Sharma has tasted considerable success in IPL cricket and has been an exceptional bowler, especially with the new ball. He has a knack for picking up wickets in the power-play overs. In 92 IPL matches, he has picked up 109 wickets at an average of 24.28 and an economy rate of 7.72.
Basil Thampi was named the 'Emerging Player of the Season' in 2017. He bowls consistently at speeds of more than 140 kmph and is known to bowl yorkers with great consistency.
Sunrisers also have Siddarth Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed in their squad. Kaul has taken 51 IPL wickets, while Ahmed has picked up 27 at an average of 21. Both Kaul and Ahmed have played on the international stage and will look to make an impression as and when they get a chance to play in IPL 2021.
The team thus has a variety of Indian fast bowlers who have done well for the franchise in the past.
2. Experienced overseas players
David Warner will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2021. He has scored 5254 runs in 142 IPL innings and is one of the most successful batsmen in the IPL. He averages 42.72 runs per innings at an incredible strike rate of 141.54. He has scored four IPL centuries and has the distinction of being the only player to have won the orange cap thrice.
Jonny Bairstow has been the perfect opening partner for David Warner over the past two IPL seasons. In 21 IPL innings, the Englishman has scored 790 runs at an impressive average of 41.58 and an astounding strike rate of 142.34 with five half-centuries and one century against his name. He was in exceptional form in the recently concluded T20 series against India and will look to carry on in IPL 2021.
Kane Williamson has been a consistent performer in IPL cricket. He averages 39.49 in 52 IPL innings and has a decent strike-rate of 134.80. He won the orange cap in the 2018 season and has been the backbone of the middle-order for SRH. He provides stability but can also accelerate towards the end of the innings.
Jason Roy is another batsman who is part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad. Roy is an exceptional T20 cricketer and will look to make an impression in IPL 2021 whenever he gets the opportunity to play. Though he has not tasted much success in IPL cricket, he has an incredible strike rate of 142.23 in T20 internationals.
Rashid Khan is an exceptional T20 cricketer. He has won many matches for his team in the said format single-handedly. He has tasted success for Sunrisers Hyderabad too in the past, picking up 75 IPL wickets at an average of 20.49 and an economy rate of 6.25. He is known to keep the scoring rate in check and pick up wickets in the middle overs.
Jason Holder is also an incredible all-around cricketer. Be it scoring quick runs in death overs or picking up wickets with the ball in hand, Holder has succeeded considerably in international cricket. He is the perfect utility player in the squad for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Apart from the above-mentioned overseas players, the team also has the likes of Mujeeb-ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi who have been successful in the past editions of the IPL.
Experienced Indian batsmen to follow the dynamic top-order
Manish Pandey has played in all IPL seasons since the inception of the tournament. He has scored 3268 runs in 135 IPL innings with 18 half-centuries and 1 century. He can score quick runs towards the end of the innings and thus be a dangerous force at the death.
Sunrisers Hyderabad picked up Kedar Jadhav at the IPL 2021 auction. This could be a master-stroke as Jadhav has the reputation of being a finisher. He has a strike rate of 124.16 in 75 IPL innings and has played a few match-winning knocks for his team. Jadhav is a street-smart cricketer and could be an asset to the franchise in IPL 2021.
Vijay Shankar has experience playing international cricket and will look to make it count in IPL 2021 too. Shankar has a strike rate of 127.73 in 34 IPL innings and can play attacking cricket from the word go. He will look to impress in the upcoming season to hopefully stage a comeback to the Indian team.
Wriddhiman Saha scored 214 runs in 4 innings in IPL 2020 which included a century and two more half-centuries. With Warner and Bairstow set to open the innings, Saha will in all likelihood bat in the middle-order. He will look to replicate his performances from the previous season and set the stage on fire this time too.