A new team has appeared on the Indian cricketing horizon. They are Hyderabad Sunrisers that is trying to establish itself as new franchise of the city. Deccan Chargers are history now. After creating waves in IPL-2, Deccan Chargers’ fortunes have dwindled, financially and performance-wise. The team has changed hands. A new fan base will be on view as the Chennai-based franchise will take to the field this summer.
The defunct Deccan Chargers, as per school parlance, got low grades in all the IPL editions, barring the 2009 and 2010 editions when they emerged champions in South Africa and entered semi-finals, could still see some royal fans with their T-shirts on at the Stadium. But it will be a sea of orange and grey when the new team makes its first appearance against Pune Warriors at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on April 5. It should be a summer of content for Sunrisers, who will be looking to fly and shine in their debut year. It will be a fresh approach and a new attitude. New coach Tom Moody said the past is irrelevant. “It is a new team, new colours and new name,” he said.
The new franchise retained 20 players of the old Chargers team, including skipper Kumar Sangakkara, Dale Steyn, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan and Cameron White. It also retained all the locals like Akshat Reddy, Ashish Reddy, DB Ravi Teja and Akash Bhandari. But at the same time they released few players and brought in players like Thisara Perera (Sri Lanka), Darren Sammy (West Indies captain), Sudeep Tyagi (UP fast bowler), Nathan McCullum (New Zealand all-rounder), Quinton de Kock and Clint McKay (both South Africans). “They are handy players,” said Moody.
Incidentally, the Hyderabad team is the only side that has seen frequent changes in the squad ever since the IPL began in 2008. For example, none of the players of the victorious 2009 team, except Ravi Teja, are there in the team now. Of course, VVS Laxman was part of that team but he is now in this team as mentor (ambassador). But there is no Adam Gilchrist or Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha or Herschelle Gibbs, among others.
The old Chargers had roped in players like Sangakkara and Steyn two seasons ago. These two are the prize catches for the team. One is a classy left-hander, who ranks among the top five in the world and other is the number one fast bowler. Sangakkara did not have much success with the bat here, but Steyn was the lone shining knight in the last season.
In this IPL-6 season, the new franchise will also be banking on other players like Ishant, Mishra, Sammy, White, McKay, Perera, Quinton de Kock, Parthiv Patel and McCullum to make an impact. However, it is unfortunate that Shikhar Dhawan would not be available for the few matches.
It is for the new mentor K Srikkanth along with Laxman, Moody and Younis to make Sunrisers fly high like an Eagle, which is their emblem.