The Sunrisers Hyderabad started the season right where they left off last year with two back-to-back victories at home. However, the wheel turned when they visited the Wankhede Stadium to face the Mumbai Indians. Against the Kolkata Knight Riders, as well, they perished due to poor batting.
The lack of depth in their lower middle order was being exposed gradually. However, David Warner and his men were able to arrest the slide against the Kings XI Punjab the other night, thanks to an inspiring spell from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Their next assignment will be at home (their fourth home game of the season) against the Delhi Daredevils, who have been terrific so far. Here is taking a look at what could possibly be their starting XI:
It is because of their explosive captain at the top of the order that the Sunrisers have been able to get the brisk starts almost every time. Warner, who was a bit out of form during the Test series against India, has regained his touch in the IPL. He has scored 235 runs in 5 matches and is the highest run scorer of the tournament so far.
The Indian opener is vying for a spot in the national squad for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy and performing well in the IPL could just be the perfect platform to stage his comeback. Dhawan has been able to get the starts and support Warner during the initial stages. However, he has failed to convert the 20s and 30s into big scores but will certainly retain his place.
The Australian all-rounder had a blistering start to the season with two back-to-back half-centuries in the first two matches. However, he was forced to sit out due to an illness in the third match. He did return to action against KKR and also featured against KXIP but couldn’t do much with the bat. He did, though, come in handy with the ball and is expected to keep his place on the side.
The left-handed hard-hitting batsman looked like he was back to his former self in the first match of the season when he scored a quickfire 50. In the next three matches, Yuvraj did not get much opportunity to prove his worth. However, when the team needed him most in the last match, he was dismissed for a golden duck.
Hooda is one of the many talented youngsters who chose the IPL as the stage to announce their arrival. He can be used both as someone who can build an innings if wickets fall early and as a power-hitter late in the innings. His off-spin also comes in handy when there is a need for breaking partnerships.
The wicket-keeper batsman has not been given much opportunity to showcase his skills. Coming down the order, he is used mostly as a finisher rather than the explosive batsman that he can be during the powerplay overs. Ojha’s wicket-keeping, though, has been on point and he has taken some breath-taking catches behind the wicket.
The second Afghani player ever to feature in the IPL, Mohammad Nabi, did a decent job in his first opportunity. He picked up one wicket and could have easily had two more in his debut game. The 32-year-old veteran can come in handy with the bat as well down the order and should retain his spot.
Rashid Khan has been the star of this season. The 18-year-old leg-spinner has added another dimension to the Sunrisers bowling with his wily bowling. Using his variations, he has befooled the batsmen and has been successful in restricting the run flow as well as picking up crucial wickets. He has already picked up 9 wickets in 5 matches and is certain to keep his place.
Bhuvi, as he is fondly called, has been bowling exceptionally well this season. Not only has he troubled the batsmen at the start of the innings with his swing and seam movement but also he has been terrific with his Yorkers in the death. He is miles ahead in the race for the purple cap with 15 wickets from 5 matches.
The veteran left-arm fast bowler has not been at the top of his game and was replaced by Barinder Sran in the last match. However, he should be drafted in the starting line-up after a woeful performance from the youngster. Nehra has picked up five wickets in the four matches he has played in but he has been a tad bit expensive.
The 26-year-old medium pacer was given an opportunity in the last match against KXIP and he should have probably done enough to retain his place for the Delhi match. Kaul was impressive against a formidable batting line-up giving away 26 runs in his 3.4 overs and picking up the last wicket with an excellent Yorker.