Indian Premier League 2019 Player Auction: The biggest and the unexpected outcome from the 2019 transfer window was the trading of the Team India stalwart Shikhar Dhawan from Sunrisers Hyderabad to Delhi Capitals. The southpaw was traded in lieu of three players from Delhi – Vijay Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma. SRH have been in pretty good form since last three editions of the IPL, qualifying to playoffs in each of them and advanced to the finals for twice. The Orange army won the 2016 edition of IPL by beating Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, they lost a lopsided final to Chennai Super Kings in this year’s tournament.

Ahead of the upcoming IPL player auction – SRH have released quite a few players from their squad – Sachin Baby, Wriddhiman Saha, Tanmay Agarwal, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Bipul Sharma, Carlos Brathwaite and Mehdi Hasan. Though, they have retained some of their key players including skipper Kane Williamson, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan and star attraction David Warner. Warner is expected to make a comeback in the 2019 edition of cash-rich league after completing his ban, imposed by Cricket Australia.

With having only 5 slots available (3 Indians, 2 Overseas) and Rs. 9.70 Crore of salary cap remaining, here are the top 5 players that Sunrisers Hyderabad could bid for at the upcoming IPL 2019 player auction:

1. Shimron Hetmyer:

With no Dhawan at the top, SRH will be short of a quality opener in the squad. After the return of Warner, the Hyderabad-based franchise will look for another explosive batsman who can play the ideal foil with the Aussie dynamo. In that case, Windies sensation Shimron Hetmyer could be the best match for the team. It will be a big boost to Hyderabad’s batting line-up, which include players like Williamson, Manish Pandey, Pathan and Deepak Hooda. Earlier this year, Hetmyer had a fairy-tale tour of India as his destructive ODI innings of 106 and 94 in ODIs caught the attention of many across the cricketing world. Moreover, this left-handed Caribbean lad boasts off a solid average of 31.12 in 18 T20 matches.

2. Nicholas Pooran:

This 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsmen from Trinidad and Tobago has been in red-hot form in the shorter formats of the game. Pooran was the highest run scorer in the recently-concluded T10 Cricket league, hosted in UAE. He scored 306 runs off just 132 balls in 9 matches at an average of 54.00 with the strike rate of 245.45. Moreover, he smashed 33 sixes in that tournament which was the highest by any batsman. The left-hander has a good amount of T20 experience, he has played 78 T20 matches in which he has scored 1249 runs including five half-centuries.
The Sunrisers have retained the wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami, who replaced injured Wriddhiman Saha, failed to live up to the expectations. He scored only 52 runs in 6 matches. So, if the Sunrisers are looking for the wicketkeeper-batsman, who can fill the gap for Saha, then Pooran could be the smart choice for Hyderabad if they bid for him.

3. Manoj Tiwary:

The 33-year-old batsmen is one of the most underrated and experienced players in the history of IPL history. He has scored 1,695 IPL runs off 98 matches with a strike rate of 116.97 at an average of 28.72. Tiwary can play a pivotal role in solidifying the middle-order for SRH, which consists of players like – Pandey, Hooda and Pathan.

4. Axar Patel:

The 24-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner has an experience of 73 IPL matches, in which he has grabbed 69 wickets and have scored 740 runs at a strike rate of 130. With his wily spin and effective lower-order batting, Patel presents a strong case for Sunrisers, who have failed to find an ideal all-rounder in the past. Though they have acquired Shankar and Abhishek in place of Dhawan but the inexperience might be a factor. In that case, Axar could be the ideal fit for the orange army.

5. Sarfaraz Khan:

The 21-year-old earned lots of name and got praised for his handy cameos for RCB in previous editions. Despite, being a game changer for Bangalore, he has failed to produce any notable performance in the previous edition of IPL. If SRH invest in Sarfaraz, he can be an X-factor for any of the team. Due to limited slots and salary cap, SRH could bid on him in order to add some zing to their middle-order.