IPL 2023: The curious case of Sunrisers Hyderabad

Sunrisers Hyderabad has been one of the few franchises that have tasted success within a very short span of time in IPL history. Since their arrival in 2013, replacing the franchise Deccan Chargers, SRH has maintained a strong legacy followed by a loyal fanbase.

In their first season itself, SRH finished in 4th place in the league standings and qualified for the playoffs. After two mediocre seasons, SRH came back strongly to clinch their maiden IPL title by defeating the favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final. Although they finished in 3rd place in the league standings, they won three knockout matches in a row to reach the final.

Their golden period started from there. They reached playoffs for four consecutive years (2017,2018,2019,2020). Let’s dive into the history of the golden era of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.

IPL 2017: SRH finished in 4th place in the league standings and qualified for the playoffs. They were eliminated in the Eliminator by the Kolkata Knight Riders.

IPL 2018: SRH finished in 1st place in the league standings and qualified for the playoffs. They were defeated by the Chennai Super Kings in the first Qualifier but then defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders in the second Qualifier to reach the final. However, they were defeated by the Chennai Super Kings in the final.

IPL 2019: SRH finished in 4th place in the league standings and qualified for the playoffs. They were defeated by the Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator.

IPL 2020: SRH finished in 3rd place in the league standings and qualified for the playoffs. They were defeated by the Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 2.

When the Sun stopped rising

Everything was going well but things started to change soon after when SRH, a very successful franchise till then started making drastic changes following a bad season in 2021. They had a pretty disappointing season as per their standards but more than that it was the management who is to be blamed for what happened next.

Throughout the whole first half of the season, SRH was a very unpredictable and difficult team to follow. Despite having a number of “match winners” on the team, they only managed to win three games because they never got going. When the IPL returned to the UAE, SRH had a chance to save their season, but Jonny Bairstow’s departure severely damaged them.

The team management replaced David Warner as captain mid-season with Kane Williamson when the team was going through a rough patch after a string of losses. Despite the change in leadership, the team’s fortunes did not improve, while that move had an everlasting impact on the franchise to date. SRH ended their horrible campaign by finishing last in the league standings and receiving the wooden spoon with just 3 wins in 14 matches.

After the conclusion of the IPL, SRH made some changes to their coaching staff. Trevor Bayliss, who had been the team’s head coach since 2020, stepped down from his position. Tom Moody, who had previously coached SRH from 2013 to 2019 and had led them to their maiden IPL title in 2016, was appointed as the team’s Director of Cricket.

In addition to SRH finishing last in the 2021 season, there was also a falling out between the team and ace batter David Warner, which led to the Delhi Capitals signing Warner in the IPL mega-auction of 2022. Rashid Khan was also released by SRH prior to the mega auction, and as a result, Gujarat Titans purchased him for a staggering 15 crore rupees. From 2017 through 2021, Rashid played and single-handedly won matches for SRH.

In IPL 2022, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a topsy-turvy season in which they alternated between being the best team in the world with five straight victories to being the laughing stock with consecutive losses. Sunrisers Hyderabad’s eighth-place result in the 10-team standings this season, albeit an improvement over their dreadful campaign from the previous campaign, was nevertheless disheartening for the team and its supporters.

Afghanistan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who was a member of SRH, placed the blame for the failure on the management when asked about it.

“When I first came in 2017, we played the best cricket for the next few editions. But I’m clueless about what happened in the last two editions. The team combination, and coaching staff everything got changed and the atmosphere was completely opposite. There were players who didn’t want to play with them, it was bad.

“I don’t think this should happen with a big franchise, they need to think how to build and not destroy. Rashid was a brand of SRH, they let him go. When they didn’t want Rashid, I don’t know what were they planning. They had invested in him so they shouldn’t have left him,” said Nabi during an interaction with Sports Yaari.

Since 2021, SRH is trying to bring back its lost mojo. In spite of making several changes, SRH’s story has been a sorry tale in the last few seasons of IPL. Even in the ongoing season, SRH is lagging behind in the points table. It remains to be seen how SRH will perform in the remaining matches of the season, but the team will be hoping to bounce back from their recent disappointments and put up a stronger show on the field. While currently being placed eighth in the points table with only four matches left they have to play out of their skins to qualify for the playoffs. The clock is ticking, time is running out, and its all but over for SRH this IPL.