Dubai: Much of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s fate will rest on the broad shoulders of their captain David Warner, who has been busy adding to his burgeoning number of Instagram followers during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Australian, who almost singlehandedly won Hyderabad the IPL title in 2016, gained a sort of superstar status by being more than regular on social media in posting videos of his dance steps to Bollywood numbers with members of his family. In one of Warner’s latest posts, the Australian opener unleashed his funny side to fans while posting a clip and re-enacting a dialogue from the Indian blockbuster ‘Baahubali’.
Consistency has been one of the hallmarks of the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Making their IPL debut in 2013 in place of the now-defunct Deccan Chargers, SRH have been one of the most impressive franchises after making it to the play-offs on all but two editions.
If their debut year was good with the play-offs and fourth position in 2013, their campaign tapered down in the next two seasons only to bounce back and win the crown in 2016, defeating the fancied Royal Challengers Bangalore in a high-scoring final.
Two years later in 2018, Sunrisers were runners-up while going down to Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets. In between, they made it to the play-offs in 2017 and 2019 but had to be content at fourth position.
Ahead of the auction held in last December, SRH showed their belief in continuity while keeping 18 and releasing just five players. There was a shuffle in the management as well with Tom Moody and Simon Helmot making ways for Trevor Bayliss and Brad Haddin as Head coach and Assistant Coach, respectively. And then, Warner was reinstated as captain in place of Kane Williamson, the New Zealand captain - the management perhaps showing their faith on the killer instincts of the former.
Last season, Warner showed his utility as he combined with Jonny Bairstow to form one of the most destructive opening partnerships in the history of IPL so far. The Warner-Bairstow pair featured in three consecutive century stands during 2019 - 118 against KKR in their opener in Kolkata, 110 against Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad and 185 versus RCB in Hyderabad. During the third stand, they broke the record for the highest opening partnership in the IPL, going past Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn’s 184 for KKR against the Gujarat Lions in 2017.
Then deeper into the tournament, the duo were separated after the Englishman was called on national duty and SRH were never the same side again. While everyone will be looking forward to this reunion, the onus will be on Hyderabad to maintain their consistency under the great tactical acumen of Bayliss.
Main man: David Warner
Indian Premier League wins: 2016
Champions League T20 wins: None
Captain: David Warner
Owners: Sun TV Network (Kalanithi Maran)
Coaches: Trevor Bayliss (Head Coach)
Squad: David Warner (C); Kane Williamson; Manish Pandey; Virat Singh; Priyam Garg; Abdul Samad; Bhuveshwar Kumar; Khaleel Ahmed; Sandeep Sharma; Siddharth Kaul; Billy Stanlake; T Natarajan; Abhishek Sharma; Shahbaz Nadeem; Mitchell Marsh; Fabian Allen; Vijay Shankar; Mohammad Nabi; Rashid Khan; Sanjay Yadav; Jonny Bairstow; Wriddhiman Saha; Shreevats Goswami; Bavanaka Sandeep; Basil Thampi.