David Warner continued the rich tradition of Australian leadership in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when he led the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to triumph in the final of the 2016 edition, beating Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Having won its maiden IPL crown (the second Hyderabad-based franchise to win the title, after the now-defunct Deccan Chargers), Warner's side will enter the upcoming league as favourites, meeting their opponents from last year's final in the opening game of the tournament on their home turf.
Among the changes that they have made to their lineup for the upcoming tournament, the Sunrisers decided to do away with the likes of England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, New Zealand pacer Trent Boult as well as left-arm spinner Karn Sharma. In the player auction held in February earlier this year, SRH made headlines mainly for handing IPL contracts to Afghan players Rashid Khan (Rs 4 crore) and Mohammad Nabi (Rs 30 lakh), aside from spending Rs 2.60 crore on an uncapped pacer, Mohammed Siraj.
They also secured the services of English all-rounder Chris Jordan, who was in fine nick in the limited-overs legs of the recent tour of India.
Among the factors that could bolster their cause greatly is the fact that the squad is largely injury-free. However, doubts linger over Mustafizur Rahman's participation due to a delay in clearance from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
SRH squad: Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, David Warner(c), Moises Henriques, Naman Ojha, Ricky Bhui, Kane Williamson, Siddarth Kaul, Bipul Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Yuvraj Singh, Ben Cutting, Abhimanyu Mithun, Mustafizur Rahman, Barinder Sran, Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Chris Jordan, Mohammad Nabi, Eklavya Dwivedi, Rashid Khan, Pravin Tambe, Ben Laughlin, Tanmay Agarwal, Mohammed Siraj.