IPL 2020: SRH Team Preview - Warner, Bairstow have to do the heavy lifting for Hyderabad to qualify for playoffs
David Warner has been a pillar of strength for Sunrisers Hyderabad over the years.
The skipper missed the 2018 season due to his ball-tampering ban when Kane Williamson took over, but has been sensational otherwise. Warner averaged 69.20 last year, batting at a strike rate of 143.86 and formed a great combination with Jonny Bairstow.
Bairstow himself scored 445 runs from 10 matches at an average of 55.62 and a strike rate of 157.24. No one will be surprised if the two repeat their heroics and get off Sunrisers Hyderabad to a flying start.
Who steps up if Warner and Bairstow don't fire?
This is where the problem begins for SRH. Warner cannot afford to go hell for leather as there is not much batting to follow. But if he reins his instincts, the team's run rate will suffer.
Hyderabad do have talented Indian batsman Manish Pandey but not much else in terms of experience. Pandey is likely to bat at 4 so that he can hold the middle order together.
'Three dimensional' Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who batted at number 4 for India in the World Cup, is likely to bat at 5 for SRH. For the number 3 and number 6 spots, Hyderabad have a few young options.
Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma and Virat Singh - young Indian SRH batters
One is Priyam Garg, who captained the Indian under-19 team, taking them to the final in last year's competition. He averages 28.37 and strikes at 132.74 in T20 cricket. Another is Abdul Samad. The Jammu & Kashmir right-hand batsman and leg break bowler averages 40.00 in T20 cricket with a strike rate of 135 and can also roll his arm over.
Abhishek Sharma is another under-19 prodigy who bats left handed and bowls slow left-arm orthodox. He may not be that consistent but packs a punch and is the big-hitter that SRH need in the middle order.
One more option that SRH possess is Virat Singh. The Jharkhand left-hand batsman averages over 35 in T20 cricket. Although his strike rate is around 125, he will provide solidity to their batting line-up.
Rashid and Nabi - SRH have their spin options covered
Sunrisers do have two of the top spinners in world cricket in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi but they are weak on their Indian bowling contingent. If Nabi does not perform as per expectations, SRH have Shahbaz Nadeem as a good Indian spin bowling option.
Who'll support Bhuvi?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was not in the best of forms last year and will be expected to lead the SRH bowling attack, giving two good overs at the top and two at the death. Siddharth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed and Sandeep Sharma are the other Indian pace bowling options.
Mitchell Marsh and Billy Stanlake are overseas players that the team has signed but they will make the XI only in case of injury or an individual's poor form.
Probable Starting XI
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) - Jonny Bairstow(wk), David Warner(c), Virat Singh, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad/Abhishek Sharma, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Basil Thampi/Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) - David Warner, Manish Pandey, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Kane Williamson, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Jonny Bairstow, Mitchell Marsh, Priyam Garg, Virat Singh, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammad Nabi, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, Abhishek Sharma, Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, T Natarajan, Sandeep Bavanaka, Sanjay Yadav, Abdul Samad
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