IPL Preview 2021: Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers listening intensely to Australian coach Trevor Bayliss (credit SRH twitter)

IPL Wins: 2016

Coach: Trevor Bayliss

Captain: David Warner

2020 Lookback

Sunrisers finished third in 2020, a good showing for a team heavily reliant on overseas talent. David Warner is the arbiter of form for SRH; when he performs well, the team plays well.

During the 2016 title-winning season, Warner managed 848 runs at 60. The issue for SRH is it seems Warner’s quality is going downhill. SRH may struggle without the firepower that other teams possess.

Excitingly the Afghani contingent is with the Sunrisers, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi and Mujeeb Ur Rahmen all suiting up in orange. For SRH to make the playoffs in 2021, the side will need all the international stars to fire.

Key Players

David Warner – The greatest overseas player in the history of the IPL, Warner hasn’t scored less than 500 runs in a season since 2013. Warner sets the tone for the Sunrisers; for the team to do well, Warner must do well.

Coming away from the ball-tampering scandal, Warner has seemed to have grown as a person. This maturity should put him in good sted to lead the Sunrisers to the playoffs once again.

Warner’s 2020 was solid without being at the heights of previous years. 548 runs at 39 is a record all would enjoy, but with Sunrisers being so dependent on Warner, it wasn’t enough to get the side into the final.

Overall, Warner’s IPL record is one of the best in the league, one of only four players to have scored over 5000 runs and the only overseas player. Whether Warner’s form continues to wane or gets back to previous years’ heights, he will go down as an IPL great.

Rashid Khan – The effect Rashid has had on world cricket in the last five years is incredible. He has played a big part in putting Afghanistan on the map and into one of the top cricketing nations.

Rashid is the quintessential modern cricketer on the T20 circuit, playing in every league possible. He was recently voted the ICC men’s T20 player of the decade, recognition for a fantastic body of work an insane award for a 22-year-old.

2020 was another consistent season for Khan, taking 20 wickets at 17 in the 2020 IPL. Notably, at an economy rate of 5.37. Bowling this tight stops the opposition in their tracks and allows Sunrisers to build pressure through the middle overs.

As an overall record, no bowler looks better than 350 T20 wickets at an economy of 6.29. Khan is by far the best T20 bowler globally and is a key for Sunrisers successes in 2021.

Player to watch:

Jonny Bairstow – While it is clear that Bairstow prefers to open the batting in all white-ball cricket, this may not be his choice in 2021. With SRH having Warner and Saha at the top of the innings, it is unlikely Bairstow will get to open.

That being said, he is incredibly skilled no matter where he bats. He had difficulty on the recent Indian tour before finding form in the ODI series to finish as the man of the series.

2020 was a difficult season for Bairstow, not reaching the heights of his debut season in 2019. 345 runs at 31 with a strike rate of 126 meant that Bairstow was eventually dropped for Kane Williamson. With Williamson still in the SRH squad, the pressure will be on Bairstow from ball one.

With over 3000 T20 career runs, including two centuries, Bairstow has shown he has the skills and temperament to dominate the IPL.

Australians

David Warner – Australia’s greatest ever T20 player, Warner is the barometer for Sunrisers. He offers stability at the top of the order, 500 runs for the season are almost locked in already. Warner also offers key experience being the captain as well as a vast knowledge of the IPL that dates back 11 season now.

Mitch Marsh – The big Bison was pencilled in to appear once again for the Sunrisers franchise. Having left the IPL in 2020 due to injury, Sunrisers fans were hoping to see him in orange again. Unfortunately for the fans Marsh has pulled out of IPL in 2021 citing COVID concerns and an unwillingness to have to isolate and lockdown once again, a fair decision in what has been an intense 12 months.

Predicted XI

D Warner, W Saha, M Panday, J Bairstow, A Samad, J Holder, A Sharma, R Khan, B Kumar, S Sharma, T Natarajan

Full Squad

Kane Williamson (New Zealand), David Warner (Australia), Manish Pandey, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), Rashid Khan (Afghanistan), Jonny Bairstow (England), Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Basil Thampi, Jason Holder (West Indies), Jagadeesha Suchith, Kedar Yadav, Mujeeb ur Rahman (Afghanistan), Jason Roy (England)

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