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Tata IPL 2022: Sunrisers regain pace bowling arsenal but did they better their team balance?

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega-auction got completed on Sunday and all 10 teams have got their final shape post this event. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) who finished last in the points table in the previous edition of IPL are ready with a new look now, after the two-day auction.

Let's have a look at the team balance of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Sunrisers Hyderabad Full Squad

Kane Williamson (retained), Aiden Markram, Shashank Singh, Ravikumar Samarth, Rahul Tripathi, Priyam Garg, Glenn Philips (WK), Vishnu Vinod (WK), Nicholas Pooran (WK), Abdul Samad, Marco Jansen, Sean Abbott, Abhishek Sharma, Washington Sundar, Umran Malik (retained), Saurabh Dubey, Romario Shepherd, Fazalhaq Farooki, Jagadeesha Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Tata IPL 2022_ Sunrisers Hyderabad regain pace bowling arsenal but did they better their team balance_ (©BCCI_IPL)
Kaviya Maran during the TATA IPL 2022 Auction (©BCCI_IPL)

Openers: Rahul Tripathi, Kane Willamson, Vishnu Vinod, Ravikumar Samarth

Sunrisers Hyderabad let go their both prime openers, David Warner and Jonny Bairstow, after the last season of IPL. Delhi Capitals (DC) acquired Warner whereas Punjab Kings (PBKS) acquired hands on wicketkeeper-batter Bairstow in the IPL auction. Thus, Sunrisers started their hunt to get new openers and bought Rahul Tripathi for a heavy price of INR 8.5 crores. Tripathi had a successful outing as an opener in IPL for his first franchise Rising Pune Supergiants in 2017. However, after that he batted in the middle-order for Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with ordinary success.

Sunrisers are likely to give Tripathi his original position and will expect him to play aggressively in powerplay overs. Skipper Kane Williamson can also open for his side in the upcoming IPL season alongside Rahul Tripathi, if he doesn’t bat at his usual position at one down. Kerala wicketkeeper-batter Vishnu Vinod can also be an option for opening positions for Sunrisers. He opened for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL way back in 2017.

Karnataka youngster Ravikumar Samarth is an opening batter for his state team. He is another option for the opener’s position in the Hyderabad side.

Middle-Order - Kane Williamson, Aiden Markram, Shashank Singh

Kane Williamson would don the hat of skipper for SRH in the upcoming IPL season in addition to bat at his usual position at one down. If Vishnu Vinod gets an opening position in Sunrisers, Aiden Markram is likely to play in the middle-order.

Caribbean wicketkeeper-batter Nicholas Pooran has had poor outings with Punjab Kings in the last two seasons. However, Sunrisers broke the bank for Pooran to acquire him in the IPL auction by spending a staggering INR 10.75 crores. He would play in the middle-order for Sunrisers. Youngsters Priyam Garg and Shashank Singh are other middle-order batting options for the Orange Army.

Sunrisers always remain dependent on the top three batters in their scheme of things. Thus, by comparing their last year batting options, Sunrisers have signed ample numbers of quality batting options this time in the mega-auction.

All-rounders: Abhishek Sharma, Washington Sunder, Marco Jansen, Sean Abbott, Abdul Samad (retained), Glenn Phillips

Sunrisers Hyderabad bought proven all-rounders in the IPL auction in the last two days. Spin bowling all-rounder Abdul Samad was already retained by Sunrisers before the auctions for INR 4 crore. They also acquired the services of Abhishek Sharma and Washington Sundar as spin bowling all-rounders.

Overseas pace bowling all-rounders, Marco Jansen and Sean Abbott are also very wise options. In Glenn Phillips, Sunrisers Hyderabad can see a wicketkeeper as well as an all-rounder. This New-Zealand born cricketer, brings unique set of skills on-board. He can keep in case Vishnu Vinod is not is yet ready for wicketkeeping responsibilities in IPL or Pooran is trusted more with this batting abilities than keeping.

Pacers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Kartik Tyagi, Romario Shepherd

Sunrisers have always been known as a pace bowling powerhouse due to the abundant number of threatening pacers amongst their ranks. One may feel Sunrisers retained that tag again this year too. They have already retained speedster Umran Malik before the auction for INR 4 crores, whereas they bought their previous pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and T Natarajan again at pretty cheap prices. They paid only INR 4 crores for yorker specialist Natarajan and INR 4.20 crores for Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Also, they signed talented Kartik Tyagi for INR 4 crores and Romario Shepherd for INR 7.75 crores in this auction at a reasonable cost. This bowling arsenal consisting of Bhuvneshwar, Natarajan, Tyagi, Malik and Shepherd will likely wreak havoc against opponents in the upcoming season of IPL, however, one could expect only three of them will actually get to play in the final eleven.

Every T20 team expects to have quality second-choice pacers in their squad so that they can step up if their frontline pacers get injured. Sunrisers has done exceptionally well in the auction to bag so many fearsome pacers in their contingent.

T Natarajan, Marco Jansen and Fazalhaq Farooqi are left-arm pace bowling options in the squad of the Orange Army.

Spinners - Jagadeesha Suchith, Shreyas Gopal, Saurabh Dubey

Sunrisers specialist spin bowling attack didn’t look much impressive, however, they have bought quality spin bowling all-rounders like Sundar and Abhishek Sharma in addition to Abdul Samad. They have variations like right-arm and left-arm bowling options and off-break and leg-break spin bowling options in their contingent, which makes their bowling attack a fearsome unit.

Shreyas Gopal is an experienced leg-spinner whereas Jagadeesha Suchith is a left-arm orthodox spinner. Uttar Pradesh youngster Saurabh Dubey bowls right-arm off-break.

Overall, the new Sunrisers squad looks more balanced than their previous IPL season squads due to ample batting options and extra spin bowling options.

IPL 2022 kicks off in India on March 27. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has indicated that the venues for the premier cricketing league could be Mumbai and Pune and the tournament will be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The detailed schedule of the tournament is yet to be announced.

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