IPL 2021: Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned after an IPL cut last season due to injury. ©BCCI/IPL
Sunrisers Hyderabad started their IPL 2021 campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai on Sunday. SRH made the playoffs last season, but could not repeat their 2016 title-winning run. With David Werner pairing Haley and Kane Williamson, Johnny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, SRH presented a strong challenge for the IPL title this year as well. Except Roy, who arrived in Chennai on Saturday and was released, the rest of the players are available for selection.
SRH has a well-balanced team, with a mix of young and experienced Indian players such as Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Khalil Ahmed, Priyam Garg and Siddharth Kaul.
Here are the players to watch
Rashid has been the most consistent player for SRH over the years and returned to India and took useful wickets in 62 matches with 75 wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. He took 20 wickets in 16 matches last season and played a key role in the SRH playoffs. With an economy rate of 6.24 runs per over, he has to struggle in the middle overs.
Bhuvneshwar’s last IPL season was short due to injury but his comeback has been one in terms of age. The fast bowler worked with a new ball and recently died in a limited-overs series against England. He took six wickets and four wickets in five T20s against England, with an economy rate of 4.65 and 6.38 respectively.
Bairstow had an easy Test series against India but lost opportunities in the limited-overs leg, with the English team scoring 118 runs in the T20s, while scoring 219 runs in ODIs at a strike rate of 120.32. He has had a great start with Warner and the England-Australia pair will move on from the previous season.