The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is underway after the teams announced the changes in their squads on the 20th of January. Alike every year, the franchises were asked to retain and release some of their players to manage their funds and squads. Some teams made startling changes, while some teams decided to stick to their initial squad.
The 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, decided to retain their core players by releasing only five players from their squad. They have qualified for the playoffs every season since 2016.
Last season was a season of two halves for this team. Even though they finished 3rd on the points table last season, the team failed to live on its reputation as they won only seven out of their fourteen games. However, Sunrisers will aim to bounce back this season with a few new names.
List of Retained Players: David Warner (c), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Priyam Garg, Virat Singh.
List of Released Players: Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Sanjay Yadav, B Sandeep, and Y Prithvi Raj. Purse remaining: Rs. 10.75 crore Overall Slots remaining: 3 Overseas slots remaining: 1 Sunrisers Hyderabad is one of the IPL team which strongly depends on their overseas bunch. Sunrisers have the least number of slots available in the auction as they decided to retain almost all of their players.
Though they have retained most of their players, they still have to fill some gaps in their squad. The middle-order was a big concern for this team last season. The number five position was like a stumbling block for Sunrisers. In a nutshell, Sunrisers need someone to bat in the middle order after Manish Pandey and ahead of Abdul Samad. Priyam Garg looked promising in the last season.
Virat Singh and Abhishek Sharma; both are having a great run at the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. But, are they consistent enough? They need someone more reliable and consistent in that position.
#IPL2021 #IPLAuction #IPL2021Auction @IPL auction to be held in Chennai on February 18🏏 A call also needs to be taken on the venue of this year’s tournament. Details ➡️ https://t.co/8WccRlUXTj pic.twitter.com/Jg50sk6rM3
— TOI Sports (@toisports) January 27, 2021
With the available options in the list, Sunrisers can place bids on Karun Nair, who has scored over 1400 runs in IPL or, they can stick to their old plans and give Garg or Abhishek another opportunity in the upcoming season. While we talk about the middle order, Sunrisers should also try to bring in Shivam Dube.
The team usually walks in with the combination of five proper bowlers and a part-time option of Abdul Samad or Abhishek Sharma. The likes of Shivam Dube can not only fill that number five position but can also give you a couple of overs in the middle. Shivam has scored over 160 runs and picked three wickets for Mumbai in the ongoing Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
Shivam got plenty of chances in the last season playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore but, his performance was displeasing. However, seeing his current form, he can be a great asset for this Sunrisers team. Sunrisers arguably have the best Indian pace attack among all the teams in the IPL but, when it comes to their overseas pace attack, they stumble. Sunrisers have a lack of overseas fast bowlers.
Apart from Jason Holder, they have no proper foreign fast bowler available. Sunrisers signed Billy Stanlake ahead of the 2018 IPL season; he took five wickets in four matches in that season with the economy rate above 8.
His numbers slowly started to deteriorate and, management decided to drop him from the playing XI. As a result, Stanlake had to warm the bench for Sunrisers in all the matches last season. After the release of Stanlake, Hyderabad would look to purchase an overseas fast bowler.
They cannot purchase Mitchell Starc with the amount of money they have in their bag. Franchises like Kings XI Punjab or Royal Challengers Bangalore will probably bid or go after Starc. However, there are 16 more overseas fast bowlers available in the auction. Kyle Jamieson, Keemo Paul, Mitchell McClenaghan are few names Sunrisers could go after.
New Zealand speedster Kyle Jamieson made his debut in the 2020 home season and, he recently had a great home series against Pakistan, where he picked 16 wickets in two test matches. Teams like Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders are already showing their interest to bid for Kyle. Sunrisers will also look to strengthen their bowling attack by placing the bids on him.
Players like Mitchell McClenaghan and Keemo Paul are already exposed to IPL. Again, both are prominent choices for Sunrisers to fill that gap and have a balanced squad this season.
McClenaghan has played over 50 games and picked 71 wickets for Mumbai Indians since 2015. Keemo Paul debuted for Delhi Capitals in 2019 and has picked nine wickets since then. Overall, both McClenaghan and Keemo can be a great addition to this Hyderabad squad.
Sunrisers Hyderabad was one of the four teams that qualified for playoffs last season but unfortunately, they squandered their chance in the qualifier against Delhi Capitals.
While they cherish their retention of core players, this Hyderabad squad with a little enrichment could be fearsome for any team in the upcoming season.
The mini-auction is all set to take place on the 18th of February in Chennai after the second test match between India and England.
Additionally, the IPL trophy is likely to fly back to India and, the tournament will take place in April. This auction will also be the last auction before the mega auction and the addition of one or two new IPL franchises in the 2022 season.