IPL 2015 Sunrisers Hyderabad : Looking to rise this time
Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
Captain: David Warner
Best Performance: Qualified for playoffs in 2013
Home Ground: Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad and Dr YS Rajashekhara stadium, Vishakhapatnam
Last year’s performance: Played 14 Won 6 Lost 8
Last year’s position: Ended at sixth position in the points table
Sunrisers Hyderabad came into the fray after Deccan Chargers was bought and subsequently changed to Sunrisers Hyderabad. In its inaugural year they performed decently by winning 10 of the 17 games played and saw themselves into the play offs. But unfortunately they could not surge after that and were forced out of the tournament.
The IPL season 2014 was marred by the choices they made during the auction which left the team with plenty of bowling resources and a top heavy batting line up. The inclusion of three genuine openers, Shikhar Dhawan, David Warner and Aaron Finch meant that one of these three had to play in the middle order which did not bode well for the batsman as well as the team. They were often entangled in a situation where they had too much to do in the later part of the innings and the burden came onto their lone hitter, Darren Sammy. However, Naman Ojha provided some relief for the management as he was ruthless in some of the matches coming down the order. However, his effort was not enough for his team to seal place in the playoffs.
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Bowling was ostensibly their forte in the last season with the likes of Dale Steyn , Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar holding the pace bowling pole strong. But their dark horse was Karan Sharma as he had a phenomenal season last year which can be gauged from the fact that he was held onto by the management ahead of Amit Mishra (who was released).
Captaincy has been given to David Warner ahead of Shikhar Dhawan and it will be interesting to see how marshal his troops on the field. He has an experience of captaincy in the Big Bash League but not a good one to be fair.
Lack of quality Indian batsmen apart from Dhawan and Naman Ojha might sting them a bit especially in the second half of the tournament when the pitches will be tired and will assist spinners and slow bowlers.
A notable addition to the coaching department is that of champion off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who will handle the bowling department. Having played himself in the IPL for seven seasons he has the experience in this format.
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Squad for IPL 2015:
They tried to rectify the top heavy batting by letting go Aaron Finch and buying some quality players at a very reasonable price like Kane Williamson (Rs 60 Lacs), Kevin Pieterson (Rs 2 Crore), Eoin Morgan (Rs 1.5 Crore) and Ravi Bopara (Rs 1 Crore). Let us take a look at their squad for this season.
Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chama Milind, Dale Steyn, David Warner, Ishant Sharma, Karn Sharma, KL Rahul, Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Parveez Rasool, Ricky Bhui, Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Ravi Bopara, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Praveen Kumar, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Siddarth Kaul
However, they have to endure a serious bump before the start of the campaign as their star batsman Kevin Pieterson has opted to play in English county in order to make his bid stronger for his return to the national side. However, they have his back up with Williamson in side and expected to take up his role. However, he will return to the squad should Sunrisers make it to the play offs.
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But, like most of the teams in IPL they will have be in a quandary over the selection of four foreign players. David Warner playing as a captain makes him a natural selection which leaves them with three spots and Dale Steyn, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Trent Boult, Ravi Bopara and Moises Henriques vying for those three spots. It will be interesting to watch how players like Morgan and Bopara perform as they have not been able to make a mark in IPL over the years they have played.
With all the addition of batsmen in their squad their bowling is still the strong point for them in this campaign with Ishant Sharma,Dale Steyn, Buvi Kumar, Trent Boult and Karn Sharma in their rank.
Also they have left a hole in the batting order that of a hitter coming down the order at number six or seven, a role which Darren Sammy played for them last season. They certainly have the better balance this time around but seems to have left some loopholes in the batting department.
What to expect in IPL 2015:
They certainly have a better balance to the squad this season but with failed IPL players (Ravi Bopara and Eoin Morgan) in their squad a lot will depend on how they perform and whether they will be able to fulfill the role the team needs them to play.
Also with just one spinner (leg spinner) in their rank they could be a spinner short in the second half of the tournament where the pitches are expected to assist the spinners.
Their batting again could let them down as it did in the last season.
They are 9/1 to win IPL 2015 title and placed third from the bottom. However, we do not expect them to make into the play offs this year too.