Sunrisers Hyderabad and the captaincy turmoil

image-ld09jq5aSRH dugout during 2022 season

Sunrisers Hyderabad had one of the best first half of the league in 2022 when they won 5 matches on the trot but the franchise’s winning pendulum was brought to a perennial halt by Gujrat Titans in a match where the luck favoured the new entrant. 

Oh! Talk about the match, the only one of league which saw 4 sixes each being smashed in the 20th over of both innings. The Orange army went on to lose all of their matches after that except one and ended on the 8th spot; courtesy of the management’s adamant choice to make Kane Williamson open the batting.

Sunrisers’ 14 crore buy has had a fantastic captaincy record with any team he has captained but Kane the batter failed to deliver in the last season as he could not strike the ball even at a strike rate of 100 and the seeds of captaincy shift were sown. 

The captaincy turmoil originated when the Hyderabad based franchise chose to part ways with captain Kane ahead of IPL 2023. Even Tom Moody has been sacked from the coaching staff barring all others.

Assuming that the franchise will not go in pursuit of pulling a rabbit out of the hat; the following options would be most under discussion at the management table-

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar – The most experienced contender doing rounds for captaincy stint would be Bhuvi, the swing king. Though, the swing genius has rarely captained any side, but he has been appointed as vice-captain on various occasions. Bhuvneshwar has already captained SRH in 2019 season, though for the first time in IPL after playing 102 matches. 

He even captained SRH in the last match of 2022 season which they eventually lost to Punjab by 5 wickets. Having an inexperienced captaincy record might pull him down in the captaincy race but having such vast international experience puts him right on top of the contention.

Mayank Agarwal – Needless to say that Mayank is also an avid competitor for the captaincy rumble as he is the recently sacked captain of Punjab Kings. Mayank’s captaincy viz. decision making, field placement, switching of bowlers etc. did impress a lot of critics but the excess chop and change policy of Punjab based franchise made them finish at the 6th spot in the last season. 

Will the management rely on his captaincy instincts or on his records, remains a question that will decide Sunrisers’ fate.

Abhishek Sharma – Abhishek Sharma got the consistent opportunity to open for SRH in the last season under Kane’s captaincy where he took it from both hands and amassed a total of 426 runs with an average of 30 plus at a strike rate of 130 plus, but the Right Hand Batter does not possess any kind of international or IPL captaincy experience. Handing the baton to such a young player might be a gamble for the Orange Franchise.

Aiden Markram – The stylish right handed batter from South Africa joined the orange franchise in the last season only parting ways from Punjab Kings after 2021 season and while getting limited opportunities scored 381 runs at an average of almost 48 with a strike rate of 139. The Centurion based cricketer won the under-19 world cup for South Africa in 2014 becoming the first South African captain to win a world cup, though in age-group cricket only. 

He has also captained the South African national side in 5 ODIs against India in 2018, though lost the series 5-1; but what makes the cricketer a favourable captaincy choice is that the Sunrisers’ management is overlooking his captaincy in the on-going inaugural SAT20 league where Aiden Kyle Markram is leading the SUN group owned team Sunrisers Eastern Cape.

Current SRH Squad:

Abdul Samad, Aiden Markram (SA), Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips(NZ), Abhishek Sharma, Marco Jansen(SA), Washington Sundar, Fazalhaq Farooqui (AFG), Karthik Tyagi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, Umran Malik, Harry Brook(ENG), Mayank Agarwal, Akeal Hosein (WI), Heinrich Klaasen(SA), Anmolpreet Singh, Adil Rashid(ENG), Mayank Markande, Vivrant Sharma, Mayank Dagar, Samarth Vyas, Sanvir Singh, Upendra Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar Reddy.

Sunrisers Hyderabad’s auction committee has done an excellent job as the squad looks the most balanced one while ticking their major boxes with specialists, be it an express pacer, slog over bowling specialists, wrist spinner, strong opening pair, effective middle order or all-rounders. 

Now, the task up the sleeves of management is to select such a leader that can stir up the colours so effectively like an artist to paint a win of the IPL title 2023 for the Orange Franchise.

Read More: Jos Buttler reaches monumental 9000 runs in T20 career