File photo of IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrating during an IPL 6 match. (BCCI Image)
After their spirited display in the sixth season of the IPL, the upbeat Sunrisers Hyderabad will once again look to impress their fans when they start their campaign in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20). Hyderabad finished fourth in the IPL 6 points table after being eliminated by Rajasthan Royals, and CLT20 is another chance for the revamped franchise to increase its fan base.
Hyderabad, who went into IPL 6 with new owners (Sun Network) and under a new name, impressed one and all with their all-round display. They looked a close-knit bunch, with players available for every role forming the core of the team. While Shikhar Dhawan (311 runs at 38.87) gave them rollicking starts, young Hanuma Vihari (241 runs at 17.21) showed nerves of steel in crunch situations.
Allrounders Thisara Perera (233 runs at 23.30 and 19 wickets at 25.15) and Darren Sammy (174 runs at 29 and 8 wickets at 21) provided the balance to their side. While there will be no Kumar Sangakkara - who has decided to play for his home club Kandurata Maroons - to lead Hyderabad, the reins have been handed over to Dhawan. The left-hander is in a rich vein of form this year, both for India and his IPL side, which must have prompted the franchise's management to reward Dhawan with the team's captaincy. Cameron White (209 runs at 17.41) did a commendable job when he led the side in the absence of Sangakkara for a few matches in IPL 6, but an Indian player leading the side will provide them with more options.
Dale Steyn proved deadly with his pace, both upfront and in death overs, and Amit Mishra had an excellent season topping the IPL 6 bowling chart for his side with 21 wickets at 18.76. Ishant Sharma too did well with his 15 wickets but he continued to leak runs while legspinner Karan Sharma (11 wickets at 20.90) was impressive as well.
Vitality in the field also meant they saved plenty of runs. The presence of South African allrounder JP Duminy, who missed IPL 6 with an injury, will give them an additional advantage in the middle order. Parthiv Patel is expected to don the wicketkeeper's gloves in the absence of Sangakkara.
Hyderabad will start their campaign against Sri Lankan side Kandurata Maroons on the opening day of the competition on September 21.
Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Parthiv Patel (wk), Cameron White, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, Biplab Samantray, Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Anand Rajan, Clint McKay