With three wins out of three games, the Sunrisers Hyderabad currently sit on top of the IPL 2018 points table, above a fresh-look Kings XI Punjab, come back teams Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals with two victories each. Ever since the Kane Williamson-led team began their Indian Premier League campaign on a successful note, when they crushed Rajasthan Royals at their home ground, the squad never looked unsettled.
The absence of banned Australian batsman David Warner has not affected the Sunrisers' batting performances in the early stages of the IPL season. But it is a certainty that the Hyderabad-based team will miss his fiery batting down the line in the season, especially in the rear end at the Playoffs stage.
On the back of superb bowling performances from both the spinners and fast bowlers, it has to be noted that Sunrisers Hyderabad has won all three matches chasing small totals -- 126, 148 and 139 against Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. Last season's Purple Cap winner Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has been instrumental in SRH's success over the last few seasons, picked up four wickets in just two matches. Apart from the retention of Afghan spinner Rashid Khan, the addition of Australian bowler Billy Stanlake, who has already picked five wickets in three matches while giving away runs economically, into the SRH squad could prove to be worth the money (base price Rs 50 Lac) for the owners.
All the Sunrisers batsmen are amongst runs, except for Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey, who was grabbed by SRH for a whopping Rs 11 Crores. The middle order batsman holds the record of being the first ever batsman to hit a century in India’s biggest annual showpiece cricket event (IPL). Either wicket-keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha or left-handed batsman Shikhar Dhawan gave good starts in the powerplay, while Williamson, Deepak Hooda and all rounder Shakib Al Hasan have contributed with the bat in the run chases so far.
After clinching their first ever IPL trophy in 2016, the Sunrisers will aim to replicate the performance this season, although they do not have the services of their star performer in Warner. Williamson, who is the only foreign playing leading a side, currently, might look forward to rope in a domestic player to add more firepower during the new mid-season transfer window, in order to fill in the gaps due to Warner’s absence over the remaining 11 games in the group stage.