Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) come into IPL 2020 with a strong team, and they would be hoping to replicate their top-four finish from last season. The side has one of the strongest overseas contingent, with players like David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in the unit.
We look at the predicted playing XI for SRH for the first few games that they play. The team, led by Warner, will begin their campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2020.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow together form perhaps one of the most dangerous opening pairs in the history of the IPL. While the Aussie won the Orange Cap in 2015. Bairstow batted with a strike rate of over 157, as the duo led the charge upfront.
Warner and Bairstow both had smashed centuries in a league clash against RCB last season, and the side will be hoping that they can replicate the same in the IPL 2020 opener as well.
Wriddhiman Saha, Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey
Kane Williamson, despite all his records in world cricket, has to warm the benches for a major part of IPL 2020 as the side fits in an all-rounder to balance the side. In Williamson’s absence, the middle order duties of SRH will be taken care of by Manish Pandey, Wriddhiman Saha and Vijay Shankar. Saha will look to anchor the innings, and is undoubtedly one of the greatest wicket-keepers in the world at the moment, especially against spin.
Vijay Shankar might play at number four, with Pandey taking over the finisher’s role. The former can also chip in with the ball when needed and is a great player of spin. Mandey will be the talisman in the middle order, and will have the duty of finishing off games, as the batting unit, after the top two, looks slightly weak.
Mohammad Nabi and Abhishek Sharma
Mohammad Nabi had an excellent Caribbean Premier League, and has had a fine outing in IPL 2019. He often sends down a few overs in the powerplay overs, and can stall the run flow. This year, he will be expected to don the finisher’s role besides being the second spinner in the side. Nabi is likely to force Kane Williamson on the bench, which indicates how important he will be.
The franchise has a host of spin bowling young Indian all-rounders like Sanjay Yadav, Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad. However, we expect Sharma to make the XiI, at least for the first few games. The left-arm spinner will be the third spinner in the team, and he can also chip in with the bat when needed. His aggressive stroke play in the death makes him a young player to watch out for.
Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Siddarth Kaul
The SRH unit have one of the best bowling attacks, with Rashid Khan leading the pack. The young Afghan spinner recently picked up his 300th T20 wicket, and has already left his mark in T20 events across the globe. The conditions in the UAE will be to his liking, and we expect Rashid Khan to have a huge role to play if SRH want to make the top four.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was injured for most parts of 2019, and how his body holds up in IPL 2020 will be crucial. Bhuvi has a tremendous record in the IPL, and though he was unable to perform as per expectations last year, he will be itching to get back to form.
SRH have playerslike Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi and T Natarajan in the side, but we expect Kaul and Khaleel Ahmed to make the team. Khaleel offers the side the option of left-arm fast bowling, which adds variety to the line-up, while Kaul is good with both the new and the old ball. He has a number of variations up his sleeves as well, and can partner Bhuvi and Khaleel well.
Though both bowlers tend to get expensive on occasions, they are the most experienced players in the squad. Players like Thampi and Sandeep Sharma are not the most experienced, and on challenging wickets, the franchise might be tempted to go in with players who have international experience, at least in the start.
SRH Predicted Playing XI for IPL 2020:
David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Vijay Shankar, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul