SunRisers Hyderabad will play Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL 2021 season opener on Sunday in Chennai. Last season, SRH made the playoffs but were unable to repeat their championship-winning season of 2016. With David Warner at the helm and players including Kane Williamson, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Rashid Khan, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the lineup, SRH will once again be a good contender for the IPL crown. The majority of the aforementioned players are available for pick, with the exception of Roy, who arrived in Chennai on Saturday and will be quarantined.
SRH have a well-balanced squad at their disposal, with a good blend of young and seasoned Indian players such as Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Priyam Garg, and Siddarth Kaul among others.
Here are the players to keep an eye on.
Rashid has been one of the most reliable players for SRH over the years, and he returns to India with 75 wickets from 62 matches at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. Last season, he took 20 wickets in 16 games and was instrumental in SRH’s run to the playoffs. He’s a force to be reckoned with in the middle overs, with an economy rate of 6.24 runs per over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s last IPL season was cut short due to injury, but his return is legendary. In India’s recently ended limited-overs series against England, the fast bowler shone with the new ball and at the death. He took six wickets in three One-Day Internationals and four wickets in five Twenty-20 Internationals against England, with economy rates of 4.65 and 6.38, respectively.
Bairstow had a lacklustre Test series against India, but he made up for it 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 ODIs to make up for missed chances. He and Warner have built a powerful opening partnership, and the England-Australia pair will look to build on their success last season.