A brief introduction to Fantasy Cricket first:
In 1983, when the Indian Cricket Team surpassed all expectations and lifted the World Cup by defeating the mighty West Indian squad, it sowed the seeds of a whole new plant of self-confidence, enthusiasm and energy for Indian fans towards the game of Cricket, which later became the religion for all of us when the master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar came into the spotlight at a mere age of 16 facing the fast pace of Pakistan National Cricket Team in Pakistan itself. If I ask you, whether you can live without the constant blood your heart pumps in and out, your response will be straight no, right? This is what cricket has done to us crazy, passionate fans – as it pumps the blood of passion for the game everyday. This increase in popularity, coupled with increased smart phone penetration has given fantasy sports a great opportunity in cricket.
The option that fantasy cricket apps provide us is that they make us feel as if we are an active part of the ongoing match. What more would a cricket fan want than being able to make calls like the captain? An online fantasy cricket game is full of energy, expectations and enthusiasm. They have gained so much popularity due to the rewards and huge prize money a fan can win through these applications. If you’ve been following even a little bit of cricket for some time, then you might be well aware of all the major aspects of the game which might be enough to call you a self-proclaimed expert of the game. The concept does not vary much amongst various fantasy cricket apps. We are allowed to make our virtual team before the match starts. Points are gained when the players we have chosen perform real-time, on the field. If analysing the game during nail-biting matches using your scrutiny is your forte, then it is truly an exciting time to try out Fantasy Cricket.
History of the Tournament:
Since its inception in 2008, for the Indian Premier League to have taken off and turned into one of the most cash-rich leagues to participate in depicts a powerful combination of fortuity and pragmatism. The main motive of the league is to provide a better platform for Indian youngsters to show their performance. A set of 8 teams spread across 8 cities in the country participate in it. Altogether 13 teams have played in the past 12 seasons of IPL. The inaugural edition was won by Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai Indians have been the most successful team of the IPL, having won the coveted title 4 times. The mighty Chennai Super Kings have lifted the trophy thrice. Deccan Chargers have had the fortune of winning the coveted title once in 2009 in Johannesburg under the leadership of former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist. The Chargers defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore by a mere margin of 6 runs. Although in 2012, the team was terminated by the IPL Governing Council for breaching contract terms. This lead to the rise of a new team in the name of Sunrisers Hyderabad who made their first IPL appearance in 2013. Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium was all set to be their home ground. 20 players from the previous Deccan Chargers team were retained by SRH. They made some notable purchases in their first-ever auction like Darren Sammy, Quinton- De Kock, Thisara Perera and Clint McKay.
Important Events that made SRH a Cricketing Gem:
In their first season as a franchise in 2013, they managed to qualify for the playoffs under the joint leadership of Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White but were knocked off in the eliminator by Rajasthan Royals. In the 2014 season, they finished sixth in the table with 6 wins and 8 losses and were unable to make it to the playoffs. The tables started turning for the Risers from 2015 when David Warner was asked to lead the team. The team’s fortune didn’t turn around significantly as they finished sixth in the points table once again but their captain, claiming the Orange Cap was a major positive. Thereafter in 2016, SRH’s date with destiny began as they went on to clinch their maiden title by defeating the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 8 runs. It was an enthralling final as the Risers took away the match from within the clutches of the Challengers. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar won the Purple Cap that year taking 23 wickets in 17 matches. In the next season, SRH again qualified for the playoffs only to be eliminated by Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium. In this season Bhuvaneshwar Kumar retained his Purple Cap whereas David Warner emerged as the Orange Cap winner scoring 641 runs. In 2018 a new captain was born in the form of Kane Williamson who was asked to lead the team in the absence of David Warner due to his suspension from IPL 2018 following a ball-tampering controversy. SRH went onto have one of their best seasons under the new captain as Kane Williamson led the team from the front defying all odds by scoring 735 runs in a season and taking the Orange Cap home. Sadly, they had to end their season as runner ups with the Chennai Super Kings winning over them for the fourth time that season.
Highlights about recent matches:
Before the 2019 season, SRH traded their star opener, Shikhar Dhawan, to Delhi Capitals which was a shocking move to many. In return, they were offered the services of Shahbaaz Nadeem, Abhishek Sharma and Vijay Shankar. In 2019, SRH notably purchased Jonny Bairstow in the auction which turned out to be a great move as the team’s opening pair of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow formed a formidable partnership at the front and went on to post 3 consecutive century opening stands for their team. This was a record no one has ever touched before. Their batting, especially the middle-order, barring Manish Pandey, was lacking one of the most powerful tools in sport, resilience. Instead, they embraced an outlook of resigned acceptance that things were not going their way this season. The flaming desire to turn situations in their favour and see them across the finish line was sorely missing when they needed such fuel the most in their last two matches. Fortunately, they became the first team to qualify for the playoff with just 12 points. They bowed out of the tournament disappointingly against the Delhi Capitals in the eliminator when they managed to set them a target of just 142. It was almost as if they fumbled in the key moments which sorted a great side from a good one.
The Risers who rose to the occasion:
Often regarded as the “Guardians of Low Totals” for their ability to defend low totals or as favourites to win the title, the Risers have never been overwhelmed by such tags. Each time a Riser was in charge of SRH’s operations they would raise hopes that they would pull their weight for the team’s cause. David Warner is somewhat of their main man from the front. He has constantly scored runs for them and won matches single-handedly for the team. He holds the record for scoring the highest a captain has ever scored(126) in the league. He came back even stronger last season and earned his lost respect back amongst the fans by winning the Orange Cap for the third time. Rashid Khan, his teammate is someone who has successfully established himself as a nightmare in the eyes of the batsmen with his mysterious variations with the ball. The world is clearly in awe with this 20-year-old youngster from Afghanistan. He has never failed to impress us and he won’t be stopping anytime soon. If there’s David Warner’s fire on one side, there’s the elegance of Kane Williamson on the other. When he gets going, Kane Williamson is the most attractive batsman to watch in world cricket. Often known for his cool temper, he is an absolute beast with the bat. We witnessed a glimpse of his greatness when he went on to take SRH to the finals of IPL 2018 scoring 735 runs and topping the scoring charts. One of the finest bowlers of Indian Cricket Team, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar has also been a vital cog to the team. He has won the purple cap twice in the tournament. Barring his fitness issues, his skills and experience make him one of the most consistent bowlers to rely on.
Current Happenings and Updates about the Team:
After coaching SRH since its inception in 2013, Tom Moody and SRH have decided to part ways amicably with each other. Trevor Bayliss, England’s World-Cup winning coach has replaced him as head coach. Bayliss was instrumental in England winning the world cup in 2019. He has proved his mettle on the track several times by winning the IPL, twice, with KKR, the Big Bash League and the Champions League with Sydney Sixers. Former Australian wicket-keeper Brad Haddin has also joined the side as an assistant coach to Trevor Bayliss. The duo has already tasted success when Haddin captained Sydney Sixers under the coaching of Bayliss as Sydney Sixers went on to win the Champions League in 2012. Always known for its strategic buying the auctions, Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking for a quality fast bowler and a reliable Indian all-rounder. They have a decent purse of Rs 17 Crore remaining.
Present squad: Kane Williamson, David Warner, Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar,Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Kaul, Shahbaz Nadeem, Billy Stanlake, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan.
Those who Left: Martin Guptill, Deepak Hooda, Ricky Bhui and Yusuf Pathan
Players bought in the auction : Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Fabian Allen, Sandeep Bavanka, Sanjay Yadav, Abdul Samad
Purse Remaining (After the auction) : Rs 10.10 Crore