Fondly known as the 'Orange Army' - Sunrisers Hyderabad are one of the widely followed franchises in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). The 2016 champions are also a consistent side in the league and are known to produce scintillating performances under the leadership of fiery David Warner. More than the big names and star attractions, the Hyderabad-based franchise believes in having utility players in their squad.
Ahead of IPL 2018 auctions, SRH retained - David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first-ever player retention event in Mumbai. Later, they went on to make the best use of their remaining three Right To Match (RTM) cards by bringing back Shikhar Dhawan, Rashid Khan and Deepak Hooda during the IPL Player Auction in Bengaluru.
In the auction, the Hyderabad-based franchise also roped in T20 specialists and renowned all-rounders Shakib Al Hasan and Carlos Brathwaite for the upcoming edition. However, they had to let go of their two key players - Mustafizur Rahman and Moises Henriques who played a vital role in SRH's triumph in the 2016 edition. In this piece, we look at strengths, weaknesses and best probable XI for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2018.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Strengths
On paper, SRH appears to be the most balanced side in league with a good mix of power-hitters, all-rounders, batsmen with sound technique and fine death overs bowlers. In the batting department, Sunrisers have two world-class openers in form of Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner who can destroy any opposition with their attacking strokeplay. The presence of experienced heads like - Kane Williamson, Shakib Al Hasan, Wriddhiman Saha will provide more depth to the middle-order. Whereas, the likes of Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda and Carlos Brathwaite can change the course of the match in the death overs.
As far as bowling is concerned, last year's Purple cap winner Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the pace attack for Hyderabad in the 11th edition of IPL. By including Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan and Siddharth Kaul - SRH have bolstered their pace attack. Interestingly, they also have a fairly potent spin attack. With young teen sensation Rashid Khan in the ranks, SRH have the ability to put a cap on oppositions scoring abilities in the middle overs. Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Mehidy Hasan and Bipul Sharma are also more than capable of delivering goods with the ball.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Weaknesses
With Warner as the captain of the side, SRH are left with the options field three more overseas players in the playing XI. This, however, brings a lot of opportunities for the local cricketers but also creates a dilemma for the captain to accommodate the foreign players in the squad. Sunrisers have as many eight overseas players in the squad. Rashid considered to be the face of the spin bowling attack, it will be a sweet headache for Warner to fill the remaining two spots for Sunrisers.
Also, the middle-order is one area where SRH have failed to buy quality and experienced players. The Sunrisers will rely heavily on their top four - Warner, Dhawan, Williamson and Pandey - to get them winning totals. But what happens on the off day(s) when the top order fails? They will be left with Yusuf, Brathwaite and Hooda who are known to hit the ball big but haven't shown great consistency in the shorter format.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Full Squad
David Warner, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson, Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan,Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan