If success is measured by the calmness exhibited by the team on and off the field, then Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) will win the Indian Premier League (IPL) title hands down. A calm Kane Williamson in the middle, a collected David Warner at the helm and a calculative Tom Moody behind the scenes – the SRH have been extremely consistent since their inception in 2013. An IPL franchise that should always be respected by punters and betting sites alike.
Even in their previous avatar of Deccan Chargers (2008-12), this Hyderabad-based franchise has been one of the most successful. A title win in 2009 and a semi-final appearance in 2010 adorned the Chargers’ five-year journey. However, it is all about the Sunrisers and their rise above the median to reach the heights of success in the IPL.
Where it all started
The Deccan Chargers’ journey in the IPL ended on a sour note in 2012 due to financial problems and termination by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The franchise was taken by Sun TV network – a famous South Indian television network, for a fee of $12 million. The brand value of the franchise was around $68million in 2019. With the cosmopolitan Hyderabad as their primary home ground, the Sunrisers have been among the most successful franchises.
In their seven years of tournament history, the Sunrisers have won the IPL title once (2016), ended as runners-up once (2018) and reached the playoffs in three other editions (2013, 2017, and 2019). To reach the playoffs in five of seven years is no mean achievement, and the SRH could be a shrewd cricket bet to repeat the same in this edition.
Sunrisers Hyderabad Revival under Warner
The current optimism stems from their recent success, but the Sunrisers haven’t started their IPL journey on a high. Although they have reached the playoffs in their debut season, SRH couldn’t follow up on that start. The next two seasons saw consecutive sixth-place finishes. The momentum of their first season evaporated and the club needed a new direction.
That was provided by the flamboyant Australian opener David Warner. He led his side to the 2016 title with 848 runs (Avg. 60.57, SR 151.42), which was the second-highest tally of the season. With his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan contributing 500+ runs, the Sunrisers had their batting sorted. Furthermore, the masterclass bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar (23 wickets – highest wicket-taker) and Mustafizur Rahman (17 wickets) led them to the title.
Although that title in 2016 remains the Sunrisers’ only title win to date, that has changed the course of the franchise. They got a new direction and reached the playoffs in every season henceforth. That included reaching the final in 2018 while losing the eliminator in the following two seasons including the latest.
The roots of success were laid and the franchise started reaping rewards of a good platform. SRH’s success lies in meticulous planning and exceptional execution. The team management has stuck to its principle of backing their captains – be it Warner or Kane Williamson – and having a strong bowling unit. Even when Warner was out of contention for IPL 2018, the Kiwi ‘Iceman’ Kane Williamson was chosen to lead the side.
Vindicating the team management’s decision, Williamson ended up winning the ‘Orange Cap’ as the IPL season’s best batsman. Not just that, his ability to remain calm and lead from the front has helped the side maintain the momentum. Although they couldn’t replicate the title run, the Sunrisers have maintained their strong run.
When you think of Sunrisers, the first thing that comes to mind is their bowling attack. Be it the consistency of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, or the variations of Mustafizur Rahman, the Sunrisers have managed to retain their bowling variety. Even their Indian domestic contingent has packed a punch. The likes of Sandeep Sharma and Siddharth Kaul have delivered whenever they were called on. Even the left-arm seam variety of Khaleel Ahmed came to prominence for the Hyderabad-based franchise.
Not just that, the ever-reliable duo of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi have consistently delivered for the Sunrisers. The affable Afghanistan all-round duo have made a mark with their match-winning efforts on a consistent basis. With either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Rashid Khan leading their bowling charts, the Sunrisers have always had a leader or two every season.
Swift transition for the Sunrisers Hyderabad
Unlike other franchises or nations, the Sunrisers never had any trouble in transitioning between players. Even when their regular captain Warner was banned for a ‘ball-tampering’ fiasco, the Sunrisers swiftly moved to Williamson to lead the side. With Warner back in contention, he has been reinstated as captain for the upcoming season.
Over the years, the Sunrisers have remained calm and collected, both on and off the field. The franchise has been meticulous with their preparation, planning, and execution right from the IPL auction. That gives the Sunrisers fans a great chance to keep expecting great things.
With the likes of Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, and Mohammad Nabi in their ranks for the 2020 season, the Sunrisers have their cupboard full in the foreign player category. Questions continue to swirl over their domestic strength although with young additions like Priyam Garg and a smart acquisition like Mitchell Marsh, the franchise looks in good shape.
Who would like to gamble in favour of the Sunrisers making it to their fifth playoffs in a row? A prudent pick, if there is one, considering the consistency and performance of the Sunrisers Hyderabad over the season in the Indian Premier League.