IPL 2023 TEAM PREVIEW
Sweeping changes give SRH renewed hope
The last time Sunrisers Hyderabad played a game at their home turf was in April 2019. Fast forward four years and the XI that will be taking the field against Rajasthan Royals on April 2 will be almost unrecognisable for the local crowd. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Abhishek Sharma are the sole survivors from that contest in 2019 whereas T Natarajan was on the bench. The fortunes for all three have changed in this time frame. Abhishek, who was hardly getting opportunities, is now an opener. Bhuvneshwar’s powers seem to be on the wane but he will still likely lead the side at least in their first game this time. Natarajan is no longer a bench warmer and has become a vital cog in their playing XI.
While four years is indeed a long time, the squad bears a different look even when compared to the 2022 season. Sweeping changes have been made with more than 10 players replaced from the last time they played an IPL fixture. Players who had a huge price tag against their name have been left out and replaced with some in-form players who could well turn the franchise’s fortunes around.
For a side that had gained a reputation back then for their over-reliance on a couple of players, SRH seem to have all bases covered this time around. In fact, this is the strongest they have looked in many years. Consecutive eighth place finishes has led to the management wielding the axe several times including the coaching staff with West Indian great Brian Lara taking over as the head coach this time. Markram’s stocks have risen big time having been named skipper and will hope for a repeat result from the inaugural SA20 where he led Sunrisers to the title.
Where they finished last year: Eighth
What did they try to address in the mini-auction:
SRH managed to raise around INR 35 Cr by just releasing half their overseas contingent. Over 1/3rd of that was spent on the young and exciting Harry Brook. Nicholas Pooran has been replaced with Heinrich Klaasen who has been in great form and might even manage to keep Glenn Phillips out of the XI. SRH also managed to pick up Adil Rashid to fill that wrist spin void they had last year in Rashid Khan’s absence. Not to forget Mayank Agarwal who bolsters that top order significantly.
Squad:Aiden Markram (C), Mayank Agarwal, Abdul Samad, Anmolpreet Singh, Harry Brook, Nitish Reddy, Rahul Tripathi, Samarth Vyas, Sanvir Singh, Vivrant Sharma, Washington Sundar, Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Glenn Phillips, Upendra Yadav, Akeal Hosein, Mayank Dagar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Kartik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Markande, T Natarajan, Adil Rashid, Umran Malik
Player to watch: Harry Brook
Since January 2022, Harry Brook has been in dreamland. He has made his debut for England in all three formats of the game, won the T20 World Cup and was then snapped up in the IPL for the very first time for a stunning sum of INR 13.25 Cr. One might wonder if it’s a gamble placing so much faith on a youngster who has never featured in the IPL before but Brook has already showcased attributes of becoming an England great by the time he retires. The 24-year-old has been striking at close to 100 so far in his short Test career and has been backed to deliver as a finisher for SRH.
Injuries and availability:
In terms of injuries, SRH are not grappling with issues like some of the other teams. Their South African trio of Markram, Klaasen and Marco Jansen will however miss the first game in order to feature in the crucial ODI series against Netherlands.
Possible XI and potential Impact Player tactic:
Abhishek Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram (C), Harry Brook, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Washington Sundar, Adil Rashid, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Umran Malik
Abdul Samad may have had a quiet 2022 but SRH might want to tap into his potential by using the Impact Player rule to good effect. By removing someone like T Natarajan or Umran Malik before a run chase in order to elongate their batting order using Samad or the other uncapped batters is certainly an option. Watch out for Kartik Tyagi as well who might have a role to play this time.