It’s been an absolutely imperious start to Sunrisers Hyderabad’s title defence in 2017 as they have picked up two comfortable wins in their first two games. Nestled in their home at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, they dismantled 2016’s runners-up, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and the Gujarat Lions, with ease.
The next challenge lies at the Wankhede, where a confident Mumbai Indians, after their epic last over win against Kolkata Knight Riders await.
Here’s the predicted playing XI for the table-toppers:
The Sunrisers might rely on David Warner a little less than they did last year, but their skipper is still a very vital cog in their setup. He came to form with a superb 45-ball-76 against the Gujarat Lions.
Shikhar Dhawan is a player who needs to be trusted to succeed, a trait which makes him one of the most frustrating players in world cricket. He always finds a way to play a crucial knock when the pressure is on him, and thus, one can expect him to excel at the Wankhede.
In Australia’s Moises Henriques, the SRH possess arguably the most in-form all-rounder in the IPL. He has grown leaps and bounds and is a very intelligent player. He generally knocks the ball around before taking off later.
Yuvraj Singh was not needed as the SRH sailed to a 9-wicket win against the Gujarat Lions, but his innings against the Royal Challengers in the season opener remains fresh in the memory. It was the best the stylish left-hander has looked in years.
Strong 21-year-old Baroda batsman Deepak Hooda is the absolute perfect fit at #5 in this batting order. Perhaps, most impressively, he has always been able to find the boundary as soon as he walks out to bat.
Cutting was on the fringes of the SRH squad in the previous season, but has broken through this time around. He is another great all-rounder who can chip in with both the bat and the ball. His run-out of Kedar Jadhav in the season opener was remarkable.
It is easy to underestimate the importance of wicket-keeper Naman Ojha in the SRH squad given the array of stars that surround him. Through the course of the long IPL season, he will play a number of crucial knocks.
Left-arm orthodox spinner Bipul Sharma is one who does a tidy job during his four overs for the Sunrisers. He only bowled one over against the RCB, but finished his full quota against the Lions and will be expected to restrict the Mumbai batsmen.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is proving to be the perfect IPL bowler. He has started this season from where he left off in the previous one, proving to be absolutely deadly at the death.
Nehra was taken for plenty in his first couple of overs against the RCB but came back well towards the end of the innings. What distinguishes him from the rest is that he picks up wickets consistently in the league.
The 18-year-old Afghan leggie has taken to the league like a fish to water. He’s picked up five wickets in total already and seems like an early bet for the Purple cap award.