Beefing themselves up

A team that scoffed at many pre-season predictions by making it to the knockout phase last year, Sunrisers Hyderabad sought to enhance its profile at the auction. By forging an assembly of cricketers who have a reputation of delivering blockbuster performances, the Sunrisers camp has reasons to feel chuffed.

The presence of David Warner and Aaron Finch alongside Shikhar Dhawan makes it an intimidating top-order, a luxury the side didn’t have last time. There is also Karnataka batsman K. L. Rahul, who was the second highest scorer in the Ranji Trophy, Y. Venugopal Rao, and Manprit Juneja.

Even as the Sunrisers bought back Darren Sammy using the Right to Match option, Moises Henriques is the new addition to the all-rounder category that also features Parvez Rasool and Ashish Reddy. There are also two solid wicket-keeper batsmen in Zimbabwean Brendan Taylor and Naman Ojha.

The bowling roster looks just as impressive what with seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma and Jason Holder joining hands with pace-ace Dale Steyn. The spin-bowling flank will be manned by the two leggies — Amit Mishra (brought back employing the Right to Match card) and Karn Sharma (who got a whopping Rs. 3.75 crore).

Sunrisers has earned a reputation for punching above its weight, but this year, with the inclusion of a few superstars, it looks a team primed to not only go the distance but also go northwards in the popularity charts.

THE TEAM

Players retained: Shikhar Dhawan and Dale Steyn.

Players bought: David Warner (Rs. 5.5 crore), Amit Mishra (4.75), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4.25), Aaron Finch (4), Karn Sharma (3.75), Darren Sammy (3.5), Ishant Sharma (2.6), Irfan Pathan (2.4), Moises Henriques (1), K. L. Rahul (1), Parvez Rasool (Rs. 95 lakh), Jason Holder (75), Y. Venugopal Rao (55), Naman Ojha (50), Brendan Taylor (30), Prasanth Parameswaran (30), Amit Paunikar (20), Ashish Reddy (20), Anirudha Srikkanth (20), Ricky Bhui (10), Chama Milind (10), Manprit Juneja (10).

Arun Venugopal