SRH were unlucky not to make it to the finals of IPL 2020, as they lost to Delhi Capitals in the play-offs.
However, they look like setting the record straight this year and boast of a side that is capable of going all the way.
SRH is one of the most consistent sides in IPL history and have made the play-offs every year since 2016.
Their skipper David Warner is an IPL legend. The Aussie opener made 548 runs in the last IPL and always delivers runs at a rapid clip.
Warner’s opening partner could be Jonny Bairstow who is one of the most attacking batsmen in the world and more importantly, in crackling form.
SRH also have the option of opening with Wriddhiman Saha who did an excellent job last year. More importantly, his selection allows SRH to pick an extra overseas player.
Kane Williamson who played one of the best innings of IPL 2020 against RCB is almost certain to start.
Supporting him in the middle order will be Manish Pandey who is also a capable and experienced T20 hand.
A possible area of weakness are the No. 5 and No. 6 slots.
SRH tried to make it work with by giving opportunities to Abhishek Sharma and Priyam Garg last year but they couldn’t grab their chances.
Another focus area for SRH is a pinch hitter who can deliver big blows in the latter overs.
That explains the investment in Kedar Jadhav who has never scored more than 300 runs in a single IPL season, but has the ability to hit the ball out of the ground.
Admittedly, they have players like Jason Holder and Mitchell Marsh too, who can slog. However, there is no guarantee that they will be picked due to the restriction on the number of overseas players in a given team.
SRH was very conservative during the player auctions. Like MI, they probably want to develop a core and keep the changes to the minimum.
As a result, they bought only three players and that too, at their respective base prices – Mujeeb Ur Rahman (1.5 crores), Kedar Jadhav (2 crores) and J Suchith (30 lakhs).
Along with Kane Williamson and Warner, the other foreign player who is a certainty is T20 superstar, Rashid Khan.
In fact, Rashid Khan was recently named in the T20 team of the decade by the ICC.
SRH will also be hoping that their local lad, Vijay Shankar comes good. Shankar is undeniably talented but has not met expectations till now but the competition with other all-rounders like Holder, Suchith and Marsh should spur him to do better.
The other big plus point for SRH is the brilliant form of their lead pacer, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. If he remains injury-free, Bhuvi has the potential to bowl match-winning spells at will and wreak havoc on any batting line-up.
David Warner (c), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Abdul Samad, Mitchell Marsh, Jason Holder, Priyam Garg, Virat Singh
Sanjay Yadav, B Sandeep, Billy Stanlake, Fabian Allen, Yarra Prithviraj
Jagadeesha Sucith, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb Ur Rahman