SRH’s Predicted Playing XI
SRH’s talisman and the best player in the IPL in the last few seasons, Warner has notched up more than 600 runs in each of his past three seasons and he looks set to continue in the same vein next year. In IPL 2019, the Australian scored 692 runs to win the Orange Cap.
The other half of the dangerous opening combo, Jonny Bairstow made a solid impression in his debut IPL season. Bairstow was only available for 10 games due to international commitments but that was itself enough for him to score 445 runs. Bairstow and Warner formed a very dangerous combination, which led to four 100-run opening partnerships. Bairstow comes in the IPL in fine form having scored two centuries in 3 ODIs against Australia.
Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi
After missing the first few matches, Williamson returned to lead the side but he endured a pretty disappointing season with the bat while SRH also only managed to scrape through the play-offs before losing a thriller against Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator.
If Williamson doesn’t fire early on, the team management might bring in Nabi to replace him.
Pandey has always shown glimpses of his talent in the IPL, but the Karnataka batsman has never managed to be consistent. In fact, his iffy form at the start of the previous IPL season was a big reason for SRH’s middle order problems in 2019. It was only in the second half of the tournament that Pandey came into his own with superb fifties against CSK, RR and MI. SRH’s middle order is inexperienced and Pandey will have to come good for SRH to succeed.
It is a tight call to choose between two superb young middle-order players in Virat Singh and Priyam Garg, but we are going with the former as SRH would probably like a left hander amidst an array of right-handed batsmen. Although he is only 22 years old, Virat Singh has been around the domestic scene for a while but it has been the current season of domestic cricket that really threw the Jharkhand batsmen in IPL limelight. Virat managed to make it count during both the Vijay Hazare Trophy and Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy by scoring 335 runs and 343 runs respectively.
At No. 6, batting all-rounder Vijay Shankar gives the much-needed depth for Sunrisers Hyderabad as he also provides 2-3 bonus overs with his medium-pace bowling. Like most of the other SRH middle-order batsmen, Shankar also had a poor season by averaging just 20.33 with the bat. But with a lack of experienced Indian batters at their disposal, SRH are set to continue with Vijay Shankar.
Sunrisers Hyderabad’s No.1 spinner, Rashid Khan would be needed to put his average 2019 IPL showing so that he could become a wicket-taking threat once again. After two good seasons in a row, last season saw Rashid Khan being played out by teams. Even though Rashid wasn’t at his best, IPL 2019 saw the Afghan spinner still end up with 17 scalps from 15 matches highlighting his class.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the team’s leading wicket-taker till now with 109 wickets in 86 matches. However, Bhuvneshwar has struggled with injuries and loss of form of late. In the last 2 IPL seasons the Uttar Pradesh fast bowler has taken 22 wickets at an average of just above 35, underwhelming by his high standards to say the least. The team management will hope that ‘Bhuvi’ will be in his best shape in IPL 2020.
Another Jharkhand player but one who has been around the scene for quite a while, left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem could play as the second spinner in this SRH team. Even though he couldn’t do much in his three games last season, SRH could have Nadeem as one of the powerplay bowlers especially with pitches expected to favour spin.
Although there are a quite a few Indian pace-bowling options at SRH’S disposal, Khaleel Ahmed could be a nailed-on starter due to his fine performances in the previous season. Although he couldn’t get chances early on, when given the chance the left arm fast bowler made a fantastic impression by picking up 19 wickets in just 9 matches in 2019 making him SRH’s highest wicket-taker.
Siddarth Kaul/ Sandeep Sharma.
The last spot in the playing XI could either go to the experienced Siddarth Kaul or Sandeep Sharma. Last season Kaul struggled to pick wickets while being expensive at the same time. Sandeep himself wasn’t at his best. Sandeep’s new ball expertise might see him picked him over Kaul.