We are three weeks into this 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and we have had some excellent cricket so far. Some teams have dominated and have surged ahead. Meanwhile, there are some teams still figuring out what is best for them and what their best line-up is.
As the season approaches the halfway mark, there seems to be quite a bit of buzz around the mid-season transfer of players. For the first time in the history of the IPL, the transfer window will be open for both domestic and international cricketers.
The trading window will be open once every team has played at least seven games each. For a player to be eligible for transfer, he should’ve played two or fewer games for his current franchise.
Hence, this presents an opportunity for the teams to review their performance and where they are lagging behind and then make use of this transfer window to fill those holes.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) started sluggishly and lost two in a row to start this season. But they have picked up the pace and have gone on to win three out of their last four games. However, they have a few holes to plug. So, here are three players the 2016 IPL champions could target in this trading window.
SRH suffered a body blow when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the entire tournament. He has been their talisman with the ball and has been the central figure in this bowling attack. However, now they will have to deal without their leader of the attack.
Yes, they called in for Prithvi Raj Yarra as Bhuvneshwar’s replacement and they do have a decent pool of fast bowlers but they’ve been inconsistent. Hence, the David Warner-led side could do with the inclusion of Ishan Porel. The Bengal fast bowler is a part of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) side but doesn’t seem to be anywhere close to making it to the XI.
Porel has had a good domestic season in 2019-20. He picked up 10 wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and seven in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament. Moreover, he even impressed for India ‘A’ when they toured New Zealand and picked up eight wickets in three List ‘A’ games. Hence, SRH could rope him in and maybe trade someone like Siddarth Kaul who has been disappointing in the last couple of seasons.
One could argue that with Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad doing decently what is the need for another spinning all-rounder. But SRH’s area of concern has been in their lower middle-order and also their fifth bowler. They have been finding it tough to complete their quota of the fifth bowler with the likes of Sharma, Samad and Williamson leaking a lot of runs. Hence, they could trade in Pawan Negi from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Pawan Negi has been around the IPL for some time now. The left-handed all-rounder can bowl his quota of four overs and can provide some big-hitting at the back end of the innings. He had a decent time with Delhi in the 2019-20 season where he picked up 13 wickets in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and returned with five wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament.
Negi has been warming the benches and it doesn’t look like he might get a look in the RCB XI. Thus, SRH could possibly trade someone like Virat Singh (RCB might need some lower-order batting depth) or even one of the wicket-keeper batsmen like Wriddhiman Saha or Sreevats Goswami (remember AB de Villiers is keeping wickets and he has had back issues in the past).
SRH have largely played with one frontline spinner and that is in the form of Rashid Khan. The only other out-and-out spinning option is Shahbaz Nadeem. Yes, they have the likes of Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad chipping in and Mohammad Nabi is waiting in the wings. There is no other Indian spin option.
Hence, with pitches expected to slow down in the second half of this tournament, spin could play a big role. And as we’ve seen leg-spin is the flavour of T20 cricket at the moment. In fact, leg-spinners have done well in this IPL as well and SRH has just one in Rashid. Thus, SRH could well rope in Mayank Markande.
The Punjab leg-spinner was in good form in the 2019-20 domestic season where he picked up 25 wickets combined in the two white-ball domestic tournaments in India. Moreover, he was very impressive in the 2018 season with Mumbai Indians where he took 15 wickets. However, ahead of the 2020 season, Markande was first traded to Delhi who in-turn traded him to Rajasthan Royals. The latter already has a couple of leg-spinners and hence, may well trade Markande with SRH.