Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) joined the cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) as a replacement to Deccan Chargers in the year 2013. Sunrisers Hyderabad have remained a silent, yet strong contender for the title.
They are a comparatively weaker team in terms of marquee players and experienced campaigners but they tasted success which some teams have failed to. In the 6 years they played, Sunrisers Hyderabad have been able to reach the playoffs 4 times and the final 2 times. When compared to other teams, they have been phenomenal and have put up a good fight for the title every year, eventually triumphing in 2016. Though they changed captains and didn't settle with a set of players in the initial stage, as the years progressed, they look a much-settled unit.
Here we rate the performances of Sunrisers Hyderabad over the years.
1. 2013 - Playoffs
The Sunrisers Hyderabad entered the tournament as a debutant with a fresh team. Kumar Sangakkara and Cameron White captained the team for 9 and 7 matches respectively in the tournament. The team lacked firepower in the middle order and consequently, they failed to put up runs on the board yet they won the matches due to the bowling department, which defended paltry totals at ease.
Their bowling attack was hugely lauded as they were able to defend totals like 136,126 and 119. Dale Steyn and Amit Mishra wreaked havoc in the opposition as they scalped 19 and 21 wickets in the tournament.
The Sunrisers lost some matches and were in a cat on the wall situation when they faced Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league matches. A win would ensure them a playoff spot. The bowlers did their usual job as they restricted Kolkata Knight Riders to 130. Sunrisers had their usual problems as they missed an anchor who would guide them across the line. Fortunately, Darren Sammy rose to the occasion and finished the match for them.
In the playoffs, they were defeated by Rajasthan Royals which ended their campaign. Reaching playoffs without much firepower while relying only on their bowlers is something they have to be proud of which sums up a fine debut in the tournament.
Rating - 7/10
2. 2014 - 6th Position
After a good debut in the previous year, Sunrisers started their tournament with a lot of hope to make it count this year. Unfortunately, their plans fell through as they ended 6th in the points table, thus failing to qualify for the playoffs.
David Warner, Darren Sammy, Ishant Sharma, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were some of the key players Sunrisers picked in the auction. Initially, Shikhar Dhawan was made the captain but Darren Sammy resumed the responsibility after a few matches. Though they added extra weight in the bowling department, they failed to win in crucial moments, which, in turn, cost them the match.
Despite not being able to get the required result, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan formed a terrific partnership at the top as they accumulated 528 and 377 runs respectively. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was new to Sunrisers, emerged as the top wicket-taker for them with 20 scalps to his name. Karn Sharma stands next in the list with 15 wickets.
With 6 wins in 14 matches, Sunrisers Hyderabad failed to qualify for the playoffs. The bowlers didn't rise to the occasion, except one or two and their usual middle order batting failure was the major reason for them to end their journey much sooner.
Rating - 6/10
3. 2015 - 6th Position
Sunrisers Hyderabad made some notable changes as they formed a team under the captaincy of David Warner with Tom Moody as the coach. Aaron Finch, Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, and Trent Boult were the new additions to strengthen the team. However, the team that looked powerful on paper couldn't do much on the field as they replicated their past errors to finish 6th in the points table for the second continuous year.
Sunrisers started on a losing note against Chennai Super Kings. They won a few matches and lost a few as the tournament proceeded. What hurt them more was their margin of defeats which took a toll on them in the latter part of the tournament.
At the end of the league stage, Sunrisers were one among the 4 teams that finished with 7 victories and 7 defeats, thus clashing with each other for the 2 positions. Sadly, the net run rate of Sunrisers was the least among the four and hence their dream of lifting the trophy was extended by a year.
David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan continued from where they left the previous year as the scored 562 runs and 353 runs respectively with Warner winning the Orange Cap. Bhuvneshwar Kumar yet again emerged as the top wicket-taker for Sunrisers with 18 scalps. Had they won some crucial moments and reduced the margin of defeat, Sunrisers would have been an inch closer to the trophy.
Rating - 6/10
4. 2016 - Champions
After ending up at the 6th position for 2 continuous years, Sunrisers made some progressive changes like bringing in Mustafizur Rahman, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra and Ben Cutting to make sure they finish top this time. David Warner continued as the captain.
After starting on a losing note against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers were able to qualify for the playoffs as they finished the league stage with 8 wins. They defeated Kolkata Knight Riders by 22 runs in the eliminator while Gujarat Lions lost to them by 4 wickets in the second qualifier 2.
They faced Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. Sunrisers won the toss and batted first. After a blistering knock from David Warner, Ben Cutting gave a fitting finish to the innings as they scored 208 runs in their 20 overs with 25 runs coming from the last over alone. Chasing 208, RCB started strong and cruised past 100 right away. However, once Kohli and Gayle were dismissed, they didn't find an able person to guide them across the line. Eventually, they ended up 8 runs short of the Sunrisers' score, thus handing them their maiden IPL title.
For the third continuous year, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan emerged the top run scorers for the team with 848 and 501 runs respectively. Bhuvneshwar and Mustafizur formed a lethal partnership with the ball as they ended up with 23 and 17 wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also won the Purple Cap award. 2016 will forever be a year to remember for Sunrisers as they clinched the title for the first time in 4 years.
Rating - 9/10
5. 2017 - 4th Position
Starting as the defending champions, bets were high on them to replicate the previous year's exploits. Sunrisers added an Afghan tinge to the team as they picked Mohammed Nabi and spin sensation Rashid Khan to enhance the team.
They started on a winning note against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. They went on to win 8 matches in the league stage which was enough for them to reach the playoffs. Had they won one more match, they would have sealed the second spot, thus ensuring an extra opportunity to qualify, but unfortunately that wasn't the case.
They faced Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator. In the rain-curtailed match, Kolkata had the upper hand as they restricted Sunrisers to just 128 runs in their 20 overs and chased down 48 runs (D/L method) with 4 balls to spare, thus knocking the defending champions out of the tournament.
As it had to be, David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan finished with a whopping 641 and 479 runs respectively, with Warner winning the Orange Cap. Among the bowlers, Bhuvneshwar continued his phenomenal run as he scalped 26 wickets, thus winning the Purple Cap. Rashid Khan also made a mark as he added 17 wickets to his name in which he dismissed the best batsmen in the league.
Rating - 7/10
6. 2018 - 2nd Position
Kane Williamson was made the captain after David Warner was banned for a year due to the sandpaper problem. Hopes weren't high on them as they seemed to have lost the spirit after their usual captain's exit but Kane ensured that they can succeed even without their captain.
They had a golden run in the league stage as they won 9 games among the 14 they played, thus ending as the table toppers -- their best position in the league stage since their debut. What was more interesting with the Sunrisers was them defending low totals for fun. They defended totals like 118, 132, 146 and 151 at ease, thus emerging as the best bowling outfit in the tournament.
After ending as the table toppers, they faced Chennai Super Kings in the Qualifier 1. They put up a dismal show with the bat as they posted only 139 runs on the board, however, their bowlers showed some spirit which wasn't enough to defend the target. They had to face Kolkata Knight Riders in the eliminator and they won it comprehensively to reach the final for the second time.
Unlike qualifier 1, Sunrisers batted well on the night of the final as they scored 178 in their 20 overs. Everyone thought Sunrisers would defend the total with the bowling unit they had. However, their bowlers had an off day as the Chennai Super Kings chased the target with nine balls to spare.
Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan ended up as the top run scorers with 735 and 497 runs respectively. Kane Williamson was much lauded for his captaincy in the absence of David Warner and also won the Orange Cap. Among the bowlers, Rashid Khan and Siddarth Kaul were brilliant as each picked up 21 wickets in the tournament.
Sunrisers lost to Chennai Super Kings four times in the tournament. Had they found a way to neutralize the best batting unit, the best bowling unit would have clinched the title for the second time.
Rating - 8/10