The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) enter the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with a squad capable of genuinely challenging for the title. David Warner has taken over from Kane Williamson as the skipper of the side, and the Australian will look to take his team to the trophy just like he did in 2016.
Players who might warm the SRH bench in the 2020 IPL
With the likes of Rashid Khan, Jonny Bairstow and Mohammad Nabi in the side, even Kane Williamson might not be able to break into the SRH playing XI. However, the New Zealand captain might just lead the side in the first game, with Warner's availability uncertain at the moment due to international commitments.
Ahead of the 2020 IPL, we take a look at 3 quality SRH players who might be benched for the entire season.
#3 Billy Stanlake
Big Billy Stanlake is SRH's fastest bowler, but his services might not be required in the spin-friendly UAE conditions. The express quick has played only 6 IPL games in which he has picked up 7 wickets at an economy rate of 8.33, and didn't step onto the field even once during last year's campaign.
Stanlake is the only recognised overseas front-line pacer in the SRH squad, and this is the case because the management have roped in a number of quality Indian fast bowlers. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan make up a stacked fast-bowling lineup, with Vijay Shankar also lending valuable balance to the side with his medium pace.
Stanlake might not get a game in the 2020 edition of the IPL.
#2 Fabian Allen
Fabian Allen was snapped up by SRH at his base price of 50 lakhs, but the dynamic all-rounder is not expected to feature for the team in this year's IPL.
Perhaps the only thing that could have tilted the scales in the West Indian's favour was his showing the ongoing Caribbean Premier League (CPL), but Allen missed his chartered flight and was thereby ruled out of the tournament.
The left-arm spinner is certainly a complete package in the T20 format, with his accurate bowling complemented by his big hitting and electric fielding. But SRH, who have the services of Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan and former captain Mohammad Nabi to call upon, Allen might be restricted to the bench.
Moreover, SRH have two young Indian spin-bowling all-rounders in Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad, who are rated highly and are bound to be given opportunities by the team management.
Allen might just be surplus to the 2016 IPL champions' requirements in the 2020 IPL.
#1 Mitchell Marsh
Mitchell Marsh has been in and out of the Australian side in all three formats, but the all-rounder is a consistent performer in the Big Bash League (BBL). Despite his T20 exploits in franchise leagues around the world, he has played only 20 IPL games, with his last appearance in the league coming back in 2016.
After struggling with injuries and form, Marsh was snaffled by SRH as a replacement for the banned Shakib Al Hasan. Owing to the presence of Indian all-rounder Vijay Shankar and spin-bowling overseas all-rounders Nabi and Rashid, the 28-year-old might be nothing but a backup option for Warner's side.
Marsh is more than handy in all departments of the game, but SRH simply don't have an overseas slot to accommodate him. Moreover, the Australian is part of the touring party heading to England ahead of the IPL and much like Warner and Bairstow, the quarantine rules imposed in the UAE upon his return might keep him out of the side.
Marsh might have to wait another year to finally get a chance in an IPL game.