In the current eight teams, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) are the only team to have not featured in 10 or more seasons.
They replaced Deccan Chargers in 2013 and took over the same team that Deccan Chargers had in 2012. And they’ve had a pretty good run since their debut in the 2013 season.
SRH made it to the playoffs in their maiden IPL season before finishing sixth twice in the next two years.
However, since 2016, they’ve been very consistent and have reached the top four every season. They won the title in 2016, finished fourth in 2017, reached the final in 2018 before finishing fourth last season.
For the 2020 season, they went into the auction with a strong core of 18 players. They didn’t buy any high-profile players and bought a few exciting Indian youngsters like Abdul Samad, Priyam Garg and Virat Singh. Meanwhile, Mitchell Marsh and Fabien Allen were their overseas recruits.
Thus, as we look forward to the 13th edition of the IPL, let’s take a look at three SRH players who could go on and win the Orange Cap.
There has been only one SRH player who has won the Orange Cap and that player has done it three times. That player is David Warner. No other player in the history of the IPL has won it thrice.
Ever since Warner switched to SRH, he has become a different player. Before 2014 when he turned out for Delhi Daredevils (now, Capitals), Warner’s best returns in the IPL were 410 runs. However, since he moved to SRH, he has aggregated at least 500 runs every season.
The left-handed opener has been churning out runs for fun and has been won the Orange Cap every alternate year. In five seasons that he has played for SRH, he has won it three times – 2015 (562 runs), 2017 (641 runs) and 2019 (692 runs).
Even in the two seasons, he didn’t win the Orange Cap, he was not too far behind. In 2014, he scored 528 runs. In 2016, he had mind-boggling numbers as he amassed 848 runs but Virat Kohli’s 973-run season stole the limelight.
There’s been a huge shift from Warner of Delhi to Warner of SRH and he’s has turned into a different beast.
The New South Wales lad averages 55.44 and strikes at 146.88 for SRH as he has made 3271 runs which is more than twice the number of runs he scored for Delhi in five seasons. And all this in a mere five seasons. There is absolutely no doubt that he will go after the Orange Cap once again.
It was Jonny Bairstow’s debut IPL season in 2019 and he set the stage on fire. He formed a strong partnership with Warner at the top of the order and dominated attacks. He was absolutely brilliant. Bairstow made 445 runs at an average of 55.43 and at a strike-rate of 157.24.
In fact, out of the 10 innings he played, the England wicket-keeper batsman had seven 30+ scores. He registered single-digits just twice. He looked unstoppable but had to return back to England early as they started preparations for the 2019 World Cup.
However, this season, Bairstow might miss a couple of games at the start due to quarantine protocols but is likely to be available for the most part of the season. Hence, he could be the one to watch out for.
Manish Pandey has been around for a while now. He has been a part of the IPL ever since it’s inception. He first played for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) before moving to Pune Warriors India (PWI) in 2011 and then Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2014.
It was in 2018 that SRH bought the Karnataka lad. Despite playing the league for 12 years, Pandey has never been that consistent. It’s always been more of a flash in the pan.
However, he did have a good 2019 with SRH. Pandey scored 344 runs at an average of 43.00 and was striking at 130.80. In fact, the 2019 edition of the IPL was a season of two halves for Pandey.
In the first six matches that he played, he could muster up just 54 runs in five innings. His batting position fluctuated quite a bit.
But he was moved to No. 3 and he reaped rewards immediately. In the second six innings that he played, he had just one score under 30 and managed to accumulate 290 runs.
His scores read – 83 not out, 61, 36, 71 not out, 9 and 30. Thus, he could be a decent contender for the Orange Cap among the SRH players if he continues to bat at No. 3.