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HomeCricketA close look at Sunrisers Hyderabad - will they win IPL 2018?

A close look at Sunrisers Hyderabad – will they win IPL 2018?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Sunrisers Hyderabad SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog

Sunrisers Hyderabad should be proud of their tournament to date, finishing first in the IPL Points Table for 2018.

After losing their skipper and damaging opener David Warner to suspension, you would have been forgiven for not knowing just how well SRH could do in the tournament. With KKR, KXIP and CSK enjoying strong starts to the tournament, as well as the potential for MI, RR, DD and RCB to make the playoffs, SRH were facing a big fight to succeed.

In magnificent fashion, they wrapped up their playoffs spot with three games to spare thanks to six straight wins during IPL 2018. Kane Williamson has been absolutely brilliant as captain, however, they enter the playoffs on the back of three straight losses – is this cause for concern?

In this cricket opinion piece, I will explore their strengths and weaknesses, and look at four players who are key to their chances of lifting the IPL 2018 title.

As always, any feedback – nice or mean – is encouraged!

Strengths

To keep this piece as short and sweet as possible, I will highlight two key strengths I feel will hold SRH in good stead in the playoffs.
Strength #1: Well-rounded bowling attack

SRH were the best bowling team in the tournament, winning the majority of their games on the back of their well-rounded attack. Heck, they even defended a total of 118 with ease at The Wankhede against MI.
They possess three bowlers in the top ten for most dot balls bowled (Rashid Khan 3rd with 132, Siddarth Kaul 8th with 112 and Sandeep Sharma 10th with 101). Also, among their five main bowlers, their highest economy rate is 8.14, which is surprisingly held by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. However, knowing his ability in all overs of the innings, he has the potential to bring this right down in the playoffs.
With the variety in their attack and their ability to bowl well as a unit, SRH are in with a shout at making an impact in the IPL 2018 playoffs.
SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog Cricket Preview
SRH have performed really well as a unit throughout IPL 2018.
Strength #2: Fantastic top three
Shikhar Dhawan, Alex Hales and Kane Williamson represent a dangerous top three on paper. Alex Hales wasn’t picked for SRH’s last game against KKR, but I believe they should pick him vs CSK.
I must say, I am surprised by Kane Williamson’s amazing performance in the tournament. He is a class player no doubt, but he is not your typical power hitter, yet he finished second in the run scoring charts only to the brilliant Rishabh Pant. 661 runs at 60.09, with a strike rate of 143.07 is a magnificent return in anyone’s book.
Shikhar Dhawan, despite his injury concerns, also had a good tournament. 437 runs at 43.70 with a SR of nearly 140 shows he is a danger man in the playoffs.
However, SRH would want more from Alex Hales, who has the potential to be very damaging. He has managed just 148 runs in six matches with a SR of 125, so the time is now for him to really get going, if picked. With the quality he can provide, he is worth the gamble.
SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog Cricket Preview
Over 1,000 IPL 2018 runs in one picture.

Weaknesses

Despite finishing first, SRH are not without their weaknesses. Can they address these effectively in the playoffs?
Weakness #1: If their bowling has an off day, can they still win? 
I ask this question looking at the games they have won and lost in IPL 2018.

In matches they have won, they have conceded an average total of 139, with an economy rate of just 7.01. The highest total they have conceded in these matches is 187, against bottom placed DD, which they chased down with ease. In matches they have lost, the average total balloons up to 189, with an economy rate of 9.61. 

This shows the reliance on their bowlers to have a good outing.
Sunrisers Hyderabad SRH IPL 2018 Cricket Blog
The bowlers have a key role to play for SRH

Therefore, is it a surprise that they’ve lost twice to CSK, the best batting side statistically? No.
They will play CSK in Qualifier 1, and will be hoping they are third time lucky in IPL 2018. 
Weakness #2: Middle order not firing as they’d like

I look at their middle order and see hitting ability with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan.
However, I think all three would admit they haven’t quite fired with the bat as well as they’d like. 
If the top three deliver, can the middle order finish off their good work? Even worse, if the top three fail, can the middle order keep SRH in games? I’m not yet convinced, but they certainly have the potential to.

Four key players to their chances:

Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan: SRH’s leading run scorers for the season. Dhawan and Williamson have contributed 51% of SRH’s total runs, so it’s a given these two are key to their chances.
Rashid Khan: One of the premier T20 bowlers in the world, Rashid Khan has the ability to dry up the runs from one end and take wickets. If he’s on, SRH can beat anyone.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: If Bhvuneshwar and Rashid can deliver eight quality overs between them, it sets up the game perfectly for their team.

Verdict:

SRH will be looking to put three straight losses behind them as they gear up for Qualifier 1 against CSK. 
They are the best bowling unit throughout all stages of an innings, and if they can nail this part of their game again, they are a chance of winning the tournament. 
My verdict? I think they will be runners up
Your thoughts?

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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