Consistency on the field spurs Sunrisers Hyderabad to invariably making the playoffs in one season after another of the Indian Premier League. Off it, careful deployment of resources, especially to build a fighting unit, begins from the auction itself. The 2016 champion has acquitted itself well this time too in recruitment of its personnel, many of whom can comfortably fit into first elevens of their countries.
As one who leads by example, few captains can match two-time Orange Cap winner David Warner in the run-getting stakes. The gritty Australian opener has only flourished in the cauldron of cricket’s shortest format, set bang in the centre of India’s scorching summer. Absolutely at home fronting his band of merry men, it’s not surprising that his side rallies behind him.
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Such sterling qualities saw the side retain Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who according to former teammate Ben Cutting, comes up with innovations for each edition of the game’s showpiece. The team’s core has been largely unchanged with the franchise exercising its right to match options for Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Hooda and Rashid Khan.
With a work ethic hinging on performance, Kane Williamson’s calm demeanor delivers without the theatrics. The batting has been bolstered by the purchase of Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha and a second wicket keeper in Shreevats Goswami. Adding muscle to the middle order will be Chris Jordan, Carlos Brathwaite and Shakib Al Hasan.
The X factor that Mustafizur Rehman brought the squad in its title-clinching 2016 campaign may be missing this time. The Hyderabad outfit did fare well though without him last year and has roped in left-arm medium pacers Khaleel Ahmed and T. Natarajan to fill that void this time. Just as the side can boast of depth in its batting, so is it armed with an attack that packs variety in speed and spin.
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