Sunrisers Hyderabad, winners of IPL 2016, made it to the Playoffs of the Indian Premier League in 2019 to be eventually knocked out in the Eliminator. They will walk into the auction with a wallet of INR Rs 17 crore with seven slots to fill, two of which are expected to be foreign buys. Of the seven positions, we have shortlisted the five candidates who SRH are likely to go after during the December 19 auction in Kolkata.
Sunrisers Hyderabad has longed for a middle-order power-hitter and Shimron Hetmyer, who was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, could take up that position. Hetmyer is only 22 and he boasted a strike-rate of over 180 in the death overs during the Caribbean Premier League. His number are unremarkable but if his recent form during the India T20Is are anything to go by, Sunrisers would surely have a keen eye on him. In the first game in Hyderabad, Hetmyer spanked 56 off 41 and played a key role in lifting West Indies to 207. He showed the same spark in the final T20I in Mumbai, where chasing a daunting 241-run target, the left-hander thumped 41 off 25 with one boundary and five sixes. Hetmyer brags of the typical West Indies touch and his skills could be utilised during the death to finish off the innings.
The England allrounder had a reasonable outing for Kings XI Punjab, including a hat-trick against Delhi Capitals, and yet, he was released by the franchise. With Shakib Al Hasan banned for a year, Curran could slot in as the foreign allrounder option for the Sunrisers. His fantastic bowling during the death and the occasional spark with the bat could prove to be the surprise element Sunrisers could capitalise on. Sunrisers comprise a healthy domestic fast bowling stock, but has only Billy Stanlake to show for in the overseas players category. With Curran, there is a pretty solid option for the 2016 IPL champions to inject variety in their bowling.
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore
The addition of R Sai Kishore could be a valuable move for the Sunrisers. The six-feet-tall left-arm spinner from Tamil Nadu emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with 20 scalps from 12 matches at an impressive average of 10.40 and a miserly economy of 4.63. What is stunning among those numbers is that 15 of Kishore’s 20 wickets came during the Powerplay. He first displayed the trait during the Tamil Nadu Premier League and later proved equally effective for Tamil Nadu in the Syed Mushtaq Ali. Barring Shahbaz Nadeem, SRH are handicapped in the domestic spin bowling department but Kishore’s selection could solve the puzzle.
The other Virat, Virat Singh, a former Under 19 player, is coming off a fine performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali, scoring 343 runs in 10 innings at an average of 57/16 and strike rate of almost 150. The batsman from Jharkhand, whose idol is MS Dhoni, scored three half-centuries in the tournament – remaining unbeaten during all those innings – and is talked about as bright young prospect. With 1522 runs and 10 fifties from 56 T20 matches, Virat could be the next batting sensation to come out of the IPL and Sunrisers could be the franchise to give the youngster his opportunity. The spunky 22-year-old could play the role of a finisher, alongside Mohammad Nabi.
Not only Sunrisers Hyderabad, but bank all eight franchises to spend big money over teen sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal of Mumbai. He was close to getting picked during last year’s auction but it is believed the franchises wanted him to grow further. In the last one year, Jaiswal has shown terrific hitting skills, especially in T20s – smashing 25 sixes during six Vijay Hazare Trophy matches – of which 12 came during his knock of 203 against Jharkhand. He scored three centuries in the tournament and followed it with an unbeaten century against Afghanistan Under19 during a Youth ODI in Lucknow last month. With only five slots to fill, expect Sunrisers to bid big for the 17-year-old.