New era of Hyderabad to Dawn upon Pune
The Deccan Chargers had one hell of a season last year. Everything from their team’s decisions down to their fielding was terrible. They knew that Ishant Sharma would not play IPL 5. Still, they traded Praghyan Ojha to MI, and spent their auction buying batsmen like Parthiv Patel and Darren Bravo when they should have picked up players like James Anderson and Vernon Philander. So not unexpectedly, they ended up having to put faith in their domestic bowlers, and these players were taken apart. Also, during the time period where Steyn was out with injury, the Chargers suffered some of their worst defeats. That was just their bowling. Their batting was very unpredictable, with only Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White firing consistently. Other than that, their fielding was terrible. So the DC fans – who (unlike the poor Kochi fans) still get to see a Hyderabad franchise – will want the Sunrisers to do something to consolidate for the Chargers’ poor show. I think that they will get what they are wishing for, and even if SRH doesn’t win the IPL, they will definitely do better than DC did. With new players like Darren Sammy, Nathan McCullum, Quinton de Kock, and Thisara Perera in their ranks, SRH look a really strong side. Ishant, who is back to fitness, will pair with Steyn to form the spearhead of SRH’s attack. Parthiv Patel should team up with de Kock to open the innings, and spots 3 and 4 will be taken by Sanga and White. The middle order will be filled by Bharat Chipli, Abhisheik Jhunjhunwala, and Ashish Reddy. Amit Mishra and Ankit Sharma can work together to spin the ball. The only players missing from SRH now are Shikhar Dhawan, who is recovering from an injury he sustained against Australia in a test, and JP Duminy, who is still recovering from an injury he picked up when his side was (ironically) touring Australia. Though Shikhar will play after about 2 weeks, Duminy will not play the entire season. I don’t know why SRH bothered to retain Duminy, as next year is team reformation year anyway.
SRH POTENTIAL XI
Quinton de Kock (wk)
Kumar Sangakkara (c)
Well, after that long article, we move down to PWI. Pune have been just as unsuccessful as DC had been, if not worse. So in this auction, they made some major reforms. They pulled in players like Ajantha Mendis, Abhisheik Nayar, and Kane Richardson. So now they probably have too many options here. They have players like Wayne Parnell, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh and Marlon Samuels out there as well. This will really be a mind boggler for the selectors. But here’s what I think: Let Finch and Manish Pandey open, and Yuvraj, Uthappa, captain Matthews, Ross Taylor and Nayar watch the middle order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has already spearheaded India in all 3 formats, should join with Marsh to spearhead, and let Mendis and Rahul Sharma take care of the spin. This frees up one extra space, which should go to Ishwar Pandey. Their only injury is Micheal Clarke, who will not play the tournament due to injuries he procured while touring India.
PWI POTENTIAL XI
Robin Uthappa (wk)
Angelo Matthews (c)