In the cash-rich IPL which boasts of some of the biggest names in world cricket, there should be no room for error if you want to get your hands on the coveted trophy. While all the franchises are willing to pay the big bucks for players, not all succeed in building the perfect squad.
However, the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad have struck the perfect balance. They have players for all conditions and cover all the aspects of the game. The likes of David Warner, Yuvraj Singh and Mustafizur Rahman can win matches single-handedly on their day.
Ever since their inception in 2013, SRH have gotten better with every season. And after emerging as champions in the IPL last year under David Warner’s captaincy, SRH have begun this year’s IPL with a bang and look really good for another title.
So, why are the Hyderabad-based team so perfect? Here are 5 main reasons:
#1 Explosive opener and captain in David Warner
The Australian southpaw has been exceptional at the top of the order for SRH. He is the fulcrum of their batting and has been very consistent. When he gets going, his aggression can turn the match on its head in no time.
Warner, who also opens for his country, has often laid his team the perfect platform and enabled them to express themselves. With the Aussie looking in great touch so far in this season, SRH would look to carry on their winning way.
Though SRH have a problem of plenty, they have been good with the selection so far, and Warner has been particularly impressive with the way he has led the team. He has used his bowlers wisely and has been spot on with field placing.
#2 Consistent performances from top-order
It is true that SRH don’t have the depth in their batting as compared to other teams. But the consistent performances from the top 4 have made sure that the relatively weak middle order hasn’t felt the pressure.
Shikhar Dhawan hasn’t been at his best lately, but he has provided good support for his skipper at the top. Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques has batted exceptionally well at the crucial No. 3 slot. He didn’t have a great season last year with the bat, scoring only 182 runs in 17 matches, but has found form this time around.
Yuvraj Singh, after a great series against England, has also shown glimpses of his genius. SRH have a dependable top order and they would hope to carry on the good work to defeat teams by scoring huge totals.
#3 World class bowlers
In order to win a long tournament such as the IPL, a quality bowling unit is a must. We have seen teams lose matches even after posting big runs on the board, owing to their struggles with death bowling.
But SRH have a great bowling line-up, probably the best. Often, when their batsmen have failed, the bowlers have dug them out of trouble and pulled off some improbable wins. The likes of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra and Mustafizur Rahman can swing the new ball and come back to nail the yorkers at the death.
And if the trio mentioned above wasn’t enough, there’s young Rashid Khan who gets wickets almost every time the ball is thrown to him. The teenage sensation from Afghanistan has certainly added tooth to the Sunrisers’ bowling attack.
The leg-spinner has had an exceptional start to his IPL career picking up 6 wickets in just 3 matches, conceding a frugal 6 runs every over.
#4 Quality all-rounders
The importance of good all-rounders can’t be stressed enough, more so in T20 cricket. They provide stability and offer more options to the team.
Ben Cutting, the Man of the Match from last year’s final, has been terrific for the Sunrisers. He can hit the ball long and is very handy with his cutters when he bowls. And his fellow countryman, Moises Henriques, though underused with the ball this season, can be a useful weapon.
The addition of another Afghan cricketer, Mohammad Nabi, provides SRH with more options. The hard-hitting all-rounder is a very capable player and we could see him in action very soon.
#5 Good bench strength
With the amount of cricket played these days, and that too in a short span of time, players are vulnerable to injuries. So, it’s really important that the teams have quality backup players. We saw how RCB struggled sans the services of their stars batsmen, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
SRH, on the other hand, have a great bunch of players waiting in the wings. It has to be said that they have been very smart in the auctions, bagging experienced T20 players like Mohammad Nabi, Pravin Tambe and Chris Jordan.
Therefore, they have plenty of options at their disposal and could use them at some point as we move into the business end of the IPL.