David Warner is in prime form and the responsibility has always fired him on to do bigger things. The dual role of captain and the premier batsman of Sunrisers is sure to give him more oxygen this time. Then they have some really wonderful players like Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, all match-winners on their own. Perhaps, no other team has got so long a list of impact players. They have useful all-rounders too in Vijay Shankar and Mitchell Marsh, lending balance to the side.
Like Mumbai Indians, the Sunrisers too do not have any obvious chinks in their armour. But many times, the Hyderabad outfit has failed to work as a team and tried to bank on individual brilliance to achieve result. Hopefully, Warner and his mode of captaincy can change the trend for them this year in UAE. Bhuvneshwar has been their key bowler over the years, making important contributions at the start of the innings as well as at the death. But over the last year or so, the pacer has lost lot of time to injury and rehabilitation and the coronavirus-forced break. It remains to be seen whether Bhuvneshwar can lift the performance to the mark this time around. It will have a crucial bearing on their fortunes.
David Warner, Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sreevats Goswami, Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Sandeep Bavanaka, Fabien Allem, Abdul Samad, Sanjay Yadav.
4. Stars to watch
David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey
5. IPL Prediction
Sunrisers should enter the Qualifiers and if not it will be a big disappointment. But imagining them as IPL champions is by no means an exaggeration of thought.