With new captain and coach, Sunrisers Hyderabad is aiming for better results in IPL 2024

The record of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL has not been encouraging. Only once it won the trophy in 2016 and in 2018 it finished runner up.

What ails this team which is capable of much better performances? Will we see a change of fortunes this time with a new head coach and new captain in charge?

These are the questions that come to mind as the team gears up to launch its campaign in the 2024 IPL tournament beginning on March 22.

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Following the poor show of last year, SRH announced that former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori will be the new head coach (replacing Brian Lara) and also selected Australian Pat Cummins to lead the side in place of Aiden Markram. Sunrisers has changed the head coach several times. Vettori is the fourth coach that Sunrisers has appointed within the last six seasons. So is it a sign of desperation or is there some plan behind this move?

Situation needs careful handling

The new coach and captain have to take into account many factors and handle the situation with great care. For a start, old memories have to be erased. Victory in sport comes from the mind as much as the body so the right mental approach is required. The task before Vettori is to inject a new enthusiasm into the team and enable it to settle into a winning rhythm immediately.

Right combination is important

The coach and captain have to work out the right combinations for the different matches. Vettori has a vast amount of experience in top level cricket so this should aid him in making the right choices. He has a wealth of talent to choose from. Where foreign players are concerned, SRH has the best available players.

There are explosive batters like Aiden Markram, Travis Head, and Glenn Phillips but it is also important that the Indian players such as Mayank Agarwal, Rahul Tripathi, and others also pull their weight in building up good totals. A lack of consistency has been a major problem for the team.

Phillips may provide some fireworks

We can expect some fireworks from Glenn Phillips who is a murderous hitter. He was born in South Africa but now lives in New Zealand. He can play a variety of roles and apart from batting, he is capable of taking crucial wickets with his fast off breaks and as a fielder he is fantastic in the outfield as well as within the circle.

One aspect that the coach and captain will have to handle with tact will be their equation with Aiden Markram. Having been deprived of the captain’s post, he should not be made to feel like he was punished. It is important for the entire team to work together with a high level of confidence and team spirit. Markram is the captain of South Africa’s T20 team and his inputs may prove invaluable to Sunrisers.

Good fast bowlers available

In the fast bowling department, skipper Pat Cummins will spearhead the attack. He is an experienced bowler and is at his peak now. He carries a huge price tag on his head but his performance in the IPL has not been up to expectations so far. Last year he had opted out of the IPL because he wanted to focus on his matches for Australia. This year how will he play? That question will be answered over the next few weeks.

But the Hyderabad team also has others who are expected to do well. There is the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T. Natarajan, and Umran Malik in the seam bowling attack. The 24-year-old Umran Malik, son of a fruit seller from Jammu, has great potential and this could be his best season if he finds his touch.

Two bouncers per over are allowed

This year the IPL rules have been modified to allow fast bowlers to bowl two bouncers per over so the pacemen should be pleased. The second bouncer could play an important role in the end stages of any match as an alternative to a yorker. It can be used as a tactical weapon at the right times.

Sunrisers Hyderabad will begin its campaign against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on March 23. A winning start against the Kolkata team could provide the much-needed thrust that the men in Orange need so badly right now.

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