Though IPL 2019 is still a good five months away, fans are gearing up for the all-important off-field actions like trade and auction. According to ESPNcricinfo, December 16 has been earmarked with Goa as the likely venue for the 2019 IPL auction.
With the auction nearing, teams are getting ready to do their off-season trade. As a matter of fact, IPL 2019 has witnessed its first trade. South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock become Indian Premier League's first trade of 2019 before the auction takes place on December.
Quinton De Kock, who played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2018 edition of the tournament, has been bought by Mumbai for a price of for INR 2.8 crore (USD 437,000). The next few weeks will be really interesting as teams try to snatch players from the opposition camps.
Sunrisers were impressive in the 2018 IPL but failed to beat Chennai in the finals of the tournament. Though they have a solid top order and bowling attack, their middle-order is fragile and they should look to strengthen it before the 2019 campaign.
On that note, let's take a look at the 5 players SRH should get in the trade.
#5 Lungi Ngidi
The South African is one of the most exciting seamers in world cricket at the moment. Blessed with great pace, Ngidi has been impressive for the Proteas in limited-overs cricket in the last 12 months.
With 22 wickets in just 10 One Day Internationals at an average of 20.45 and nine wickets in six T20Is at an economy rate of 6.22, Ngidi has become a regular in the South African side. The 22-year-old was impressive in the 2018 IPL as well. He picked up 11 wickets in seven games for Chennai Super Kings at an impressive economy rate of six.
Though Sunrisers Hyderabad has a good set of Indian seamers, they lack a quality seamer with genuine pace. Along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma, Ngidi could make SRH an even more dangerous bowling unit.
#4 Nitish Rana
One of the major areas of concern for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season was their middle-order. Though they have explosive batsmen at the top with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, and David Warner, they clearly lack firepower in the middle.
Manish Pandey's failure has exposed SRH's batting last season and they suffered throughout the campaign. They failed to take advantage of the starts and slowed down drastically in the middle overs.
Nitish Rana could be the solution to their middle-order woes. Rana is one the consistent performers in the Indian Premier League for the past two seasons. He was brilliant for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2017 and did the job for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2018. Nitish Rana is also in good form for Delhi in the Vijay Hazare 2018/19 tournament. Rana at no.4 could solidify KKR's batting depth.
#3 Colin de Grandhomme
Yusuf Pathan's struggle in the lower middle-order has deterred Sunrisers Hyderabad's batting in IPL 2018. Also, Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan wasn't impressive with the bat either. Both these batsmen failed to manage a single 50+ score for Sunrisers Hyderabad last season and that has hindered their chances of posting a big score when batting first or chasing huge totals when batting last.
Colin de Grandhomme could be one of the options Sunrisers Hyderabad can look into for IPL 2019. The Kiwi superstar is one of the underrated all-rounders in the world. With a strike rate of almost 160 in IPL 2018, de Grandhomme could be an impressive addition to their squad. The 32-year-old is also a handy medium pacer and a good fielder. He could bring the explosiveness to their batting order.
#2 Sanju Samson
This man needs no introduction in IPL. With 1867 runs in the tournament at an average of 27 and a strike rate of almost 130, Sanju Samson has been a consistent performer in the Indian Premier League. The 23-year-old was exceptional in IPL 2018 with 441 runs from 15 outings, which included three brilliant fifties. He has shown us in the past that he can win games for his team with the bat and also brilliant behind the stumps.
Though one cannot doubt Wriddhiman Saha's abilities as a wicket-keeper, his batting has always been under the scanner. In IPL 2018, Saha has scored only 122 runs for Hyderabad at an average of 15.25. He failed to make a single match-winning contribution and his highest score in the tournament was 35. Though SRH tried to fit him at various positions in the batting order, he simply could not click. SRH need a young keeper batsman who can score quickly and consistently.
#1 David Miller
David Miller could complete Sunrisers Hyderabad's batting. Though he wasn't in great form for the past couple of IPL campaigns, the 29-year-old is one of the best players in Twenty20 cricket at the moment. He was impressive for Jamaica Tallawahs in the recently concluded Carribean Premier League (CPL) with 205 runs at an average of almost 70 and strike rate of 177.
Hyderabad does not have a genuine finisher in their squad and David Miller's abilities could prove very useful for them. Miller at no.5 or no.6 will allow players like Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson to bat freely in the middle overs. He is an experienced campaigner and has played a lot of impressive knocks in IPL. Also, Carlos Brathwaite has struggled with the bat last season and Miller could do the job for Sunrisers Hyderabad.