After the auction for 2020 edition of Indian Premier League, in this series we take a look at how the teams stack up and what their strengths, weaknesses are.
Breakdown of the SRH squad with players bought at the auction highlighted in bold:
|Kane Williamson||Rashid Khan||Vijay Shankar||Jonny Bairstow|
|David Warner||Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Mohammad Nabi||Wriddhiman Saha|
|Manish Pandey||Khaleel Ahmed||Abhishek Sharma||Shreevats Goswami|
|Priyam Garg||Sandeep Sharma||Mitchell Marsh|
|Virat Singh||Siddarth Kaul||Fabian Allen|
|Billy Stanlake||Sandeep Bavanaka|
|T Natarajan||Sanjay Yadav|
|Shahbaz Nadeem||Abdul Samad|
For Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Indian Premier League auction was all about adding more depth in their ranks. Otherwise, they have a fairly balanced and set XI and a top-class captain to boot. Hyderabad reached the playoffs last season but their overall form was nothing spectacular. What they did unearth is David Warner and Jonny Bairstow forming an unlikely opening pair, and boy, weren’t they prolific?
Unfortunately, the Warner-Bairstow axis was broken just before the playoffs and Hyderabad suffered a limp exit from the tournament. Once again, value for money was the 2016 champions’ motto and in India U-19 captain Priyam Garg, they made a bankable investment for the future.
Barring Fabian Allen and Shaun Marsh, the rest of the new signings were similar in that sense. The Hyderabad management think stocking the squad with promising young domestic talent is the way forward, a strategy that is a stark contrast to some of the other franchises.
Maybe it is the unpredictability in their own Indian contingent that made them approach the auction this way. Last season, Manish Pandey failed to get a score of note early into the group stages. For all of Warner and Bairstow’s heroics, their middle-order regularly underperformed. While the young Abhishek Sharma deserves a longer rope, Vijay Shankar was below-par.
That can be said about their bowling too. The seasoned Siddarth Kaul is dependable and Sandeep Sharma too, can be an asset during the powerplay overs. Persistent injuries have kept out Bhuvneshwar Kumar from the India XI but once again, there is a lot riding on him to lead the pace attack. Khaleel Ahmed is still raw and needs time to fine-tune his trade.
Hyderabad still lack a tearaway quick that can spread fear into the opposition ranks. Trevor Bayliss and Co are happy with Billy Stanlake to do that job. Among spinners, Fabian Allen is the new name in the supporting cast in an already formidable lineup that features Afghanistan duo Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi as well as Shahbaz Nadeem.
This is yet another indication that Hyderabad don’t want to upset the balance of their squad but going into the new season, there are some familiar worries. In Warner, Bairstow and skipper Kane Williamson at the top, the foreign talent is shunted specifically into one area – their top order, which is as good, if not better, than the rest of the pack.
Pandey has had yet another season to remember in the Indian domestic circuit, with the bat and as captain. While the 30-year-old ended IPL 2019 well, it is important that he gets off to a good start this time around. That will be the challenge for Vijay Shankar too.
Hyderabad’s success has been a result of having a stable, experienced backroom staff. They replaced Tom Moody with Bayliss, whose has been credited with England’s recent rise as a force to reckon with in limited-overs cricket. In Williamson, they also have a shrewd captain who has an astute understanding of his team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Bayliss, after the auction, hinted at replacing the void left by Shakib Al Hasan who has been suspended: “We obviously wanted someone like Mitchell Marsh. We wanted a strong hitter in the middle-order who could also double up as medium pacer. We have got five local Indian boys. They are all good young players.”
How far Hyderabad can go, though, is something that will depend on their young Indian core.