IPL 2021: Predicting Sunrisers Hyderabad’s strongest playing XI

Sunrisers Hyderabad would definitely be one of the prime contenders for clinching the IPL trophy this year.

Sunrisers Hyderabad
Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) have been an excellent force in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with their top-notch performances. The side has made it to the playoffs of the tournament for five years in a row now and although they have won only one title out of these five, they would be one of the favorites for clinching the IPL this year.

Led by the ever-dependable David Warner and possessing an arsenal of stupendous overseas stars, SRH would want nothing but another title win. Despite the batting strength, it has been the team’s bowling force which has been the heartbeat and it would continue to be so. On that note, we predict the strongest playing XI that SRH would go with, if every player in the squad is fit and available.

Top Order: David Warner, Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson

Jonny Bairstow and David Warner
Jonny Bairstow and David Warner

The top order will be SRH’s strength with regard to batting as they might go with three of their overseas players in the top 3 slots. David Warner is a no brainer as an opener and he could be partnered by Jonny Bairstow. Now, the latter was dropped the final stages of the tournament last year to make way for Wriddhiman Saha and free up space for an overseas all-rounder in Jason Holder, but SRH might revert to their original combination this year.

At No. 3 will be the ice-cool Kane Williamson who will be expected to anchor the innings and go for the big shots when needed. SRH have backup here in the form of Saha, Sreevats Goswami as well as Jason Roy.

Middle Order: Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav

Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar
Manish Pandey and Vijay Shankar

The middle-order is expected to consist entirely of Indian batsmen. Manish Pandey is a given at No 4 thanks to his experience and reliability. The next two slots would be uncertain as there are a plethora of options. The likes of Priyam Garg and Abdul Samad were impressive in patches last year but this year, they might go for international experience in the form of Vijay Shankar who also offers a pace-bowling option as a sixth bowler and the newly acquired Kedar Jadhav.

Spinners: Rashid Khan and Abhishek Sharma

Rashid Khan celebrates a wicket against DC
Rashid Khan

SRH have probably the best T20 spinner in the world in the form of Rashid Khan who will once again be relied on to choke the run-flow and pick up wickets in the middle overs. The other spinning option continues to remain a problem for the side. SRH have Rashid’s fellow Afghani spinners in Mohammad Nabi who can also bat and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. However, it becomes difficult to fit them into the line-up with only four overseas players allowed.

The Indian spinning slot could go to one of Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem or Jagadeesha Suchith. With his added batting ability, Abhishek might get the nod.

Pacers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan

T Natarajan
T Natarajan

The pacers will be SRH’s strength and it would be an all-Indian attack that would be tasked with winning games for the side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is fit and back in form and he would spearhead the attack. Swing bowler Sandeep Sharma will once again be Warner’s go-to man in the Powerplay while T Natarajan will be asked to nail yorkers at the death.

There are backup options here in the form of Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed and Basil Thampi but these are the three who would in all probability be preferred unless the team combination completely changes to accommodate Jason Holder in which case, Sandeep might have to drop out.

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