Bleak outlook for Sunrisers
Hyderabad: The biggest problem that confronts Sunrisers Hyderabad in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) as it embarks on a trail-blazing ...
Hyderabad: The biggest problem that confronts Sunrisers Hyderabad in the sixth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) as it embarks on a trail-blazing route in its debut season is in assembling a wining squad.A Nothing could be more disastrously suicidal for an ambition-driven entity on its maiden voyage. For starters, given the compulsions of the cash-rich tournament, it will be one hell of a job for the team management to shortlist four overseas players in the playing eleven considering that there is an overdose of non-Indian presence. There is a very potent foreign flavour to the squad, despite having retained 20 players, who represented Deccan Charges in the previous edition. And this is precisely where the problems manifest themselves and will need some shrewd jugglery to knit a balanced team composition that can maintain a winning (?) momentum. And, of course, the management has gone by the trait that is unabashedly exhibited by the other eight teams in contention. There are three overseas 'brains' to steer the team's fortunes in Tom Moody, Simon Helmot and Waqar Younis in addition to two desi mentors, Kris Srikkanth and V V S Laxman. However, having to accommodate only four foreign players in the eleven may pose unforeseen problems, particularly because there is no Indian match winner, barring Shikar Dhawan, who could be depended upon to bail the team out of crunch situations. To add to their woes, Sunrisers added some more swashbuckling overseas talents while roping in Darren Sammy, Thisara Perera, Clint McKay and Quinton de Kock, each of whom is worthy of a place in any T20 squad. This is in addition to skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, Dale Steyn, Nathan McCullum and Craig White, who are already in the thick of calculations. In terms of strengths, the fortunes are heavily dependent on the exploits of Sangakkara, Dhawan, White and Steyn. Unfortunately, though the batting looks comparatively better, the bowling department is so fragile that it looks near-improbable to defend a small total, the pulsating fluctuating fortunes of cricket notwithstanding. A blow to the team's prospects comes in the absence of big-hitting South African J P Duminy. Otherwise, there is not much of hope from home-grown talents like Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Parthiv Patel, Ashish Reddy, G H Vihari, P Akshath Reddy and D B Ravi Teja. If Sunrisers hope to climb up the ladder and go above the eighth finish of the Chargers then it has to pray for consistently good performances from the specialists, which, as things stand, look remote. The inept preparedness will also get exposed by the fact that the entire bunch will come together just a day before the hour of reckoning. A combined practice session is virtually out of the question, which makes it worrisome because Dhawan has been ruled out of their April 5 opener against Pune Warriors. Going into the Championship with an 'underdog' mindset would work wonders for the team, at least psychologically. All said and done, Sunrisers Hyderabad has nothing to lose and everything to gain by this 'experience.' Sridhar K Penna