One would not ideally fancy Sunrisers Hyderabad to be tough competitors in the Indian Premier League but it is a team everyone likes. They are every opposition fan's second favourite team but within the camp, they have been able to foster an atmosphere of success.
SRH finished runners up last season despite their campaign tailing off slightly after a bright start. This season, they have bid goodbye to Shikhar Dhawan but will welcome David Warner back to the fold. The franchise has also acquired the services of Vijay Shankar who came their way in a trade which involved Dhawan going to the country and tournament's Capital.
Here's taking a look at SRH's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- The team is filled with quality Indian seam bowling options in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi and Khaleel Ahmed. This gives them the opportunity to stack their batting and all-rounders with overseas players. In Bhuvi and Kaul, they have quality death bowlers too. The plethora of options also allows the captain to pick and choose depending on the conditions while keeping everyone fresh.
- The leadership group at SRH is perhaps the strongest and at its helm is one of the most astute minds in world cricket -- Kane Williamson. The backroom staff of SRH is fantastic and they are like a family who does not put unnecessary pressure on the players. The like of Tom Moody, VVS Laxman and Muthiah Muralitharan are more like catalysts and enablers that help the players play their natural game by expressing their own skills in the ways they know best.
- The batting form of Manish Pandey has not been great and David Warner is returning after a long layoff. Thus, the pressure of run scoring will fall heavily on the shoulders of Williamson. The team has a decent middle-order but none of them can be ascertained as match-winners. Yusuf Pathan is a difference maker on his day but he is towards the end of his career.
- SRH has the perfect opportunity to lift another title. They have one of the most balanced teams heading into the tournament and like they always do, they purchased very shrewdly in the auction this time too. The likes of Rashid Khan, David Warner, Bhuvi and Williamson are all big match players who can turn games on their own. Thus, another strong season is expected in Hyderabad.
- This IPL will provide Warner with the perfect opportunity to get back to a high standard of cricket. Following his ban, the left-hander has played club level cricket which is a far cry from international standards. Thus, he will see the IPL as an opportunity to get back into shape for the upcoming World Cup.
- SRH has a lot of players who perform a similar role which gives the management a headache in terms of keeping the entire camp motivated and happy. Shakib Al-Hasan and Mohammad Nabi have similar jobs; the five pacers will not get a game every time; Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha and Sreevats Goswami will be vying for the same role. Even Yusuf Pathan and Deepak Hooda are similar types of players.
- If the mystery of Rashid Khan is decoded, the bowling attack suddenly looks much less threatening. In the age of technology, it may so happen that the opposition does figure him out and that remains a constant threat.
Kane Williamson (C), Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Hooda, Manish Pandey, Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Shreevats Goswami (WK), Siddarth Kaul, Syed Khaleel Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Billy Stanlake, David Warner, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, and Shakib Al-Hasan, Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abhishek Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Jonny Bairstow, Martin Guptill