Sunrisers Hyderabad have had mixed luck in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after coming into existence in 2013.
They impressed by reaching the playoffs in their debut season — when they replaced Deccan Chargers — but again took a step back finishing sixth last year.
In order to achieve success-on-the-go, they changed four captains in two years and have now appointed Australian David Warner as their skipper for this edition.
Warner will form a partnership with compatriot Tom Moody and a lot depends on their union.
India’s Shikhar Dhawan, last year’s captain has been relieved of the added burden of leading the side, with an eye to bringing out the best of the aggressive batsman.
Sunrisers have a formidable batting line-up with a strong middle order — despite the late withdrawal of former England batsman Kevin Pietersen from the group stages — that could be their bedrock for success.
Their middle-order boasts of New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, England duo of Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan and Australian all-rounder Moises Henriques.
Their pace attack will be led by SOuth Africa’s Dale Steyn and New Zealander Trent Boult and supporter by India’s fast-bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma.
But it is the absence of a quality spinner that could hurt their ambitions. Karn Sharma and Parvez Rasool are yet to prove their credentials on the big stage.
The non-existence of a reliable Indian middle-order bat could force the team management to pack the batting with their overseas batsmen.
Indian batters Naman Ojha and K.L. Rahul are no doubt talented but have not shown the mettle to carry the team’s hopes on their shoulders.
In order to compensate on their batting, the team may be forced to rely on home-grown players for their bowling, which can be a two-edged sword.
Sunrisers will hope they don’t end up on the wrong side of the sword.
Indian players – Ashish Reddy, Shikhar Dhawan, Chama Milind, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Karn Sharma, Naman Ojha, Parveez Rasool, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Praveen Kumar, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Hanuma Vihari, Siddarth Kaul.
Foreigners – David Warner, Dale Steyn, Moises Henriques, Ricky Bhui, Kevin Pietersen (playoffs only), Kane Williamson, Eoin Morgan, Ravi Bopara, Trent Boult.
Home matches at Visakhapatnam: Rajasthan Royals (April 16), Delhi Daredevils (April 18), Kolkata Knight Riders (APril 22).
Home matches at Hyderabad: vs Chennai Super Kings (May 2), Kings XI Punjab (May 11), Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 15), Mumbai Indians (May 17).
Away matches: vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 13), Mumbai Indians (April 25), Kings XI Punjab (April 27), Kolkata Knight Riders (May 4), Rajasthan Royals (May 7), Delhi Daredevils (May 9).
IPL record: 2008 – eighth, 2009 – champions, 2010 – fourth, 2011 – seventh, 2012 – eighth, 2013 – Playoffs, 2014 – group stage.