The Kane Williamson-led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team displayed a sensational performance in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The last year’s runners-up will be starting their campaign this year against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the afternoon encounter on March 24 at the Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata. The 2016 champions and the 2018 finalists will be eyeing to continue their magnificent run this year as well.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad made some changes in their squad before the auction as well as at the auction table. Before the IPL auction, SRH traded their premier opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan with Delhi Capitals and in return they got three promising talents in Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma. In Dhawan’s absence and no information on David Warner’s availability for the complete season, they opted to bolster their opening department, picking up the likes of Martin Guptill and Jonny Bairstow at the recent IPL auction.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s possible starting XI
After missing a year of competitive cricket due to the infamous ball-tampering incident, David Warner will be making his return in the forthcoming IPL season. Recently Aussie chief selector Trevor Hohns gave the green signal about Warner and Smith’s IPL 2019 availability, confirming that the tainted duo will be taking part in the T20 competition, to prove their fitness and form ahead of the 2019 World Cup. Warner is likely to open the batting along with wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha, who has also missed some great amount of cricket due to a shoulder injury.
SRH skipper Kane Williamson is currently nursing a shoulder injury which he sustained during the recently concluded second Test match against Bangladesh, but he is likely to recover in time to lead his team in the upcoming season. He ended the previous edition as the highest run-getter, scoring a phenomenal total of 735 runs at an impressive average of 42.44. He is expected to lead the SRH middle-order which will also include the likes of Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan.
Pandey had a pretty disappointing time in the eleventh edition as he managed just 284 runs from 15 matches. He will be desperately hoping to contribute with significant performances in the upcoming IPL season. Pathan, who didn’t get much of opportunities last year, is expected to be a likely starter in the middle-order.
The duo comprising of Vijay Shankar and Mohammad Nabi will start in the playing XI as the two all-rounders. The Indian all-rounder will be raring to get a consistent run with the SRH team to make his case stronger for the 2019 world Cup. Whereas Nabi is likely to be part of the team as Bangladeshi all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan’s fitness status is still unknown.
Afghanistan premier leg-spinner Rashid Khan will once again play a crucial role for SRH in their upcoming IPL campaign. He picked up 21 wickets last year at an amazing economy rate of 6.73. After a disappointing season in 2018 where he finished with just nine wickets to his name, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be hoping to put forward an improved performance this year. He will be heading the fast bowling department along with the likes of Siddarth Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed. Both Siddarth and Khaleel who are still probably in the race for that fourth seam bowler’s slot in the Indian ODI team for the World Cup, will be looking to deliver some exceptional performances in the opening matches itself to come in the radar of the selectors and team management.
Probable XI: David Warner, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed.