IPL 2019: Analyzing Sunrisers Hyderabad's needs and likely strategy at the auction
Possible Buys: Manoj Tiwary, Brendon McCullum, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Hanuma Vihari
Shreevats Goswami/Overseas WK, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan/Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Abhishek Sharma, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma
After the first trade window had commenced, 2018 IPL runners-up - Sunrisers Hyderabad were arguably the best placed team in terms of squad depth and player availability. Over the past few years, SRH have excelled in the auctions with astute buys such as Siddarth Kaul and Kane Williamson coming at a relatively cheap price.
The franchise's think tank comprises of the three massively experienced individuals in M. Muralidharan, VVS Laxman and head coach Tom Moody and have always ensured that the Orange Army are always a step ahead in the auctions.
They haven't budged against the idea of recruiting young cricketers from the lesser-known countries with Rashid Khan (2017), Mohammed Nabi (2017) and Mustafizur Rehman (2016) making a huge difference for the Orange Army.
We will now try and identify possible areas where the Sunrisers can build upon and fill the gaps in the upcoming IPL Auction to be held on 18th December 2018.
Sunrisers Hyderabad have a healthy purse of 9.7 crores still available considering the fact that they have their team already sorted out and are on the look for bench strength. With 5 available slots ( 3 Indian and 2 Overseas), SRH are primed to continue their good work at the auctions.
The Orange Army was dealt a massive blow when their highest runscorer- Shikhar Dhawan, reportedly unhappy with the terms of his contract, wanted to leave the franchise. Most franchises would have crumbled at the sight of one of their best batsmen leaving the team but not SRH. They forked out a gem of a deal by trading Dhawan to the Delhi Capitals in return for three players - Shahbaz Nadeem, Vijay Shankar and eighteen year old Abhishek Sharma.
While the loss of Dhawan could be very critical, SRH have done well to bolster their spin department and their lower-middle order with shrewd buys.
As in the case of the Chennai Super Kings, SRH wouldn't like to tinker with a winning combination that has served them well in the past. Unlike CSK though, the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Warner (if selected for the Aus WC squad) wouldn't be available for the entire competition while Williamson is available for the whole tournament and would likely be named Captain ahead of Warner.
SRH would likely go for an overseas batsman as a back up for the returning David Warner with the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Brendon McCullum and Glenn Phillips available in the auction.
Nicholas Pooran, who has had a wonderful T10 campaign would also be a good buy with the southpaw fitting in the middle order enabling Williamson to take up the opener's role
.Dhawan's place would likely be occupied by the Indian wicketkeeper, Shreevats Goswami as SRH have released Saha. Another option would be to go for an overseas WK who could double up as an opener too so that one of Vijay Shankar or Deepak Hooda could be slotted in to the line up, giving more balance to the team.
SRH's bowling is probably the best in the IPL with as many as four capped Indian fast bowlers in the team and adding the Afghan leggie, Rashid Khan to it just makes it even better. This is one area where we can expect no additions to the team.
One area that SRH could look towards is local Indian batting talent. Srikar Bharat, Manoj Tiwary or Saurabh Tiwary could be on their radar as well.
With the overseas talent of the SRH possibly leaving early, it has to be seen how the think tank would operate considering the uncertainty of the venue as well.