Last season, Sunrisers Hyderabad were by far the most criticized team in the Indian Premier League. No one saw David Warner's "boycott", and at the end of the campaign, his own fan base turned against him. The split between SRH and Warner was very clear at the time, as the franchise decided not to stick to it until the mega auction. Later, surprisingly, he also failed to catch Rashid Khan. The Afghan is one of the top T20 cricketers in the world and the inability of the franchisee to retain him meant that he had to enter a new era without his two legs: his success was built around him.
Not surprisingly, the franchise handed over the reins to Ken Williamson on a full-time basis. SRH leadership is not an unfamiliar field for Williamson. He led them to the final in 2018 when Warner was not available and, in the absence of the Australians, New Zealand also scored more than 700 runs in the season. SRH will be happy to lead one of the most famous cricketers in the world after a turbulent season, but will he be able to repeat the success he has achieved over the years?
Most of the runs scored during his successful run were partially scored by Warner and Williams. The bowling load was shared mainly by Rashid and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Now that Warner and Rashid are gone, Bhubaneswar is not performing at its best in recent years and that means SRH needs new faces to move forward. He has added veterans Brian Lara and Dale Steyn to his coaching ranks to join Muttiah Muralitharan and Tom Moody. The sports team will definitely have no shortage of technical knowledge to start a new era.
SRH will start their campaign against Rajasthan Royals on March 29 in Pune, where they will play two more matches in May. After the opening match, they will play four of their next five matches at the DY Patil Stadium. He will play three more at Brabourne Stadium and four more at Wankhede. With 10 teams this time around, SRH will play only once in the league stage this season against the Royals, Mumbai Indians, Lucknow Super Giants, and Delhi Capitals.
After Williamson and the young duo of Umran Malik and Abdul Samad equaled, SRH had great success in bringing back some of their players. Young all-rounder Abhishek Sharma spent Rs 6.5 million behind him and managed to bring Bhuvneshwar and T Natarajan back into the team. Priyam also bought Garg at its original price.
The addition of Romario Shepherd, Washington Sundar, and Nicholas Puran will delight his fans, as the franchise has spent more than 25 million on his services. Puran's takeover caused a stir as he spent Rs 10 crore on a player who was in poor form last season. One suspicious move was the decision to leave Marco Jensen and Sean Abbott with Shepherd. Only one of the three is expected to make it to the XI. But again, SRH has traditionally chosen to align their team with fast bowling options, and once again they are sticking to that plan.
Of course, the bowling attack looks exciting. In fact, since SRH bought Bhubaneswar and Natarajan from Karthik Tyagi, it could be difficult for Malik to get a place in XI. Shepherd took 18 wickets in just nine matches in the CPL last year, so he is another useful option that can hold for a long time for good use. Washington is a reliable spinner to use at any stage of the innings. But SRH lacks good leg flexion. Shreyas Gopal is in his squad but it can be difficult to get him in the starting XI. Samad also turns one leg, but he does not move his hand constantly.
For years, SRH has struggled with his death and may struggle again at this crucial stage of the innings unless he makes minor changes to his batting order. Washington has yet to prove itself in that role in T20 cricket and although Samad has grown rapidly, he is still young and SRH sees it as a long-term investment. Glenn Phillips has done well in 2021, but it could be difficult for Puran and Aiden Markram to take him to No. 5.
SRH spent Rs 8.5 crore on Rahul Tripathi. He is not known for big runs, but Tripathi will suffer as long as he is at the crease. It will be interesting to see how SRH uses it, as its fantastic campaigns are at the top of the list. They have the option of using the middle order to increase the hit rate, which will see Williamson and Markram choose SRH as a strong start to complement the choice against Abhishek Sharma. With players like Bhuvneshwar, Tyagi, and Natarajan, SRH has no shortage of opportunities to shoot the ball.
He has been in the franchise since 2019, but Abhishek Sharma has acted only 19 times in three editions. 2022 could finally be his year when SRH selects him for re-auction. It was not easy as they had to pay Rs. 6.5 million, which shows that they are not only planning to give it a long run this time but will also use it wisely. Only 20-year-old Abhishek has succeeded in this format as a starter for his local Punjab. Perhaps this is a strategy that SRH can use to mimic and maximize its potential. It is even more useful with the ball and can diversify the bowling attack.
Probable XI: Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson (C), Aiden Markram, Rahul Tripathi, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Abdul Samad, Washington Sundar, Romario Shepherd, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, T Natarajan