Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) has been one of the most unpredictable teams in the entirety of the league. Be it the surprise title win in 2016 or the rise of majorly unknown players, SRH have defined the term team development. The team was established in 2012 after the Deccan Chargers (DC) were terminated by the cash-rich league. The Hyderabad-based team, fondly called the 'Orange Army', had reached the playoffs in their first season (2013) under the captaincy of Cameron White. However, the team could not proceed any further as they suffered a four-wicket defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals.
Change of reigns
Shikhar Dhawan, the Indian left-handed opener, was given the responsibilities of the team for the 2014 season with Darren Sammy as his deputy. After a successful debut season, the 'Orange Army' could not produce the same performance and failed to qualify for the playoffs. They finished the season in the sixth place on the points table with just six wins and eight losses.
The team, sensing urgency of lifting the team, transferred the reigns of captaincy to David Warner and Sri Lanka bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan was appointed the team's bowling coach.
While the management hoped for a different result in a fresh season, the team failed to produce any magic once more and finished sixth on the table yet again with seven wins and as many losses.
After having back-to-back below-par seasons, SRH wanted to tick all the right boxes in 2016 and as a result, they brought Yuvraj Singh in the team. While the fans and other teams had written off the Warner-led team, the management comprising of Tom Moody, VVS Laxman and Muralitharan had other things in mind. Along with Yuvraj, Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman fitted the SRH's bill perfectly as they had their eyes set on the coveted title.
Apart from the new names in cricket, the team also featured Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan. And finally with 11 wins and six losses in the league format, SRH reached the final and beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to be crowned the champions of the IPL for the 2016 season.
The ultimate challenge
The underdogs of the 2016 season, SRH were touted to be the champions of the 2017 season of the IPL. The tournament was going in SRH's favour until the rain-hit eliminator at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, which saw them bow out of the tournament.
In the eliminator, SRH made a meagre 128 for seven in 20 overs against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Due to rain, KKR were given a revised target of 48 in six overs, which they achieved with four balls remaining.
With two of the most prominent teams making their way back in the IPL fold, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, the race for the top place has just got arduous. With a new squad in place, the Tom Moody-coached team will look to right all the wrongs and lift their second trophy of the tournament.