IPL 2021: Bhuvneshwar Kumar returns after his IPL was cut short due to injury last season.© BCCI/IPL
SunRisers Hyderabad begin their IPL 2021 campaign on Sunday against Kolkata Knight Riders in Chennai. SRH made the playoffs last season but could not replicate their 2016 title-winning run. With David Warner at the helm and the likes of Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the line-up, SRH pose a strong challenge to the IPL title this year as well. With the exception of Roy, who landed in Chennai on Saturday and will be quarantined, the rest of the aforementioned players are available for selection.
With a healthy mix of young and experienced Indian players such as Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Priyam Garg and Siddarth Kaul among others in the mix, SRH have a well-balanced squad at their disposal.
Here are the players to watch out for
Rashid has been one of the most consistent performers for SRH over the years and he returns to India and helpful pitches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium with a tally of 75 wickets from 62 matches. He returned 20 wickets from 16 matches last season and played a key role in SRH’s journey to the playoffs. An economy rate of 6.24 runs per over makes him a force to contend with in the middle overs.
Bhuvneshwar’s last IPL season was cut short due to injury but his comeback has been one for the ages. The fast bowler starred with the new ball and at the death in India’s recently-concluded limited-overs series against England. He picked up six wickets from three ODIs and four wickets from five T20Is against England, finishing with economy rates of 4.65 and 6.38 respectively.
Bairstow had an ordinary Test series against India but the Englishman made up for lost opportunities in the limited-overs leg, smashing 118 runs at a strike rate of 137.20 in T20Is and 219 runs at a strike rate of 120.32 in the ODIs. He has formed a formidable opening combination with Warner and the England-Australia duo will look to carry on from the last season.
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