Despite suffering several injuries to key players, Sunrisers Hyderabad had a phenomenal second half to the season in the UAE and continued their five-year streak of reaching the final four. Given their strong showing in the IPL 2020, SRH retained most of their squad from the previous season and the only new names added to the team in the auction were Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and J Suchith. The main talking point ahead of this season for SRH will be if they continue to persist with the incredibly successful Bairstow-Warner opening combination or play Jason Holder instead to add more balance to the team as they did in the back half of last season.
Sunrisers have an embarrassment of riches with the ball and were one of the best wicket-taking teams in the UAE. SRH had an economy rate of only 7.8 last season – the lowest in the league – thanks to consistent performances from the likes of Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan and Rashid Khan. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also returns to the team after missing out most of last season through injury and was incredibly impressive in the recently concluded series against England.
SRH are also incredibly strong in the middle overs (7-15) and last season they picked up a league-high of 38 wickets at an economy rate of only 6.9 in this period thanks to the brilliance of Rashid Khan.
Apart from their bowling, SRH also have an incredible array of options at the top of the order. David Warner is one of the most consistent performers in T20 cricket and is one of the great wicket-preventers of the modern generation. Alongside their captain, they have various other options at the top including Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Jason Roy and Kane Williamson who have all excelled for their respective nations.
While SRH are incredibly strong at the top of the order, their middle order has been their kryptonite and they have particularly struggled with their death overs hitting (league-low run-rate of 9 in the last 5 overs in IPL 2020). SRH failed to address these issues in the auction as well and have even replaced one of their middle-order hitting options, Mitchell Marsh, with another opener in Jason Roy.
Another area where they are lacking is in the overseas pace department. SRH let go of Billy Stanlake after last season and instead chose to replace him with another spinner in Mujeeb Ur Rahman. SRH currently don’t have anyone in the squad who can bowl 140+ regularly and this could limit their options on surfaces that have carry and bounce.
Player to watch out for: Abdul Samad
SRH’s run-rate in the death has been an issue for a while but one person who can help solve this crisis is the highly-rated youngster Abdul Samad. The 19-year-old has performed incredibly well for Jammu and Kashmir at a domestic level and had a strike rate of 177 last season in the IPL.
Wriddhiman Saha, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Kane Williamson, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan