Hyderabad: Resold and slightly repackaged, Hyderabad are back in the IPL with a new name and a rather easy opening awaits them when they take on last season`s laggards Pune Warriors here on Friday.
Missing from the line-up of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, as they are called now, would be star batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who knocked up the fastest Test century on debut against Australia last month.
The star batsman is nursing a hand injury and is likely to miss the first few matches of the event.
Despite this, the Sunrisers would be quite a handful for the Warriors. The team, which retained Kumar Sangakkara as captain despite having a different owner after Deccan Chronicle Group pulled out due to its financial woes.
Indian veterans Kris Srikkanth and VVS Laxman, both mentors for Sunrisers, have joined hands with Australia`s Tom Moody (chief coach) and former Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis (bowling coach) to form a strong team of support staff for the Sunrisers.
In the batting department, Sangakkara, South Africa`s JP Duminy, Sri Lanka`s Thisara Perera and Australian Twenty20 specialist Cameron White along with India`s Parthiv Patel make the team highly competitive.
They have an ace up their sleeves when it comes to bowling as South African tearaway pacer Dale Steyn would lead the attack for them. Steyn is currently ranked number one in the ICC rankings.
Ishant Sharma and experienced spinners like Amit Mishra and Nathan McCullum are the other proven bowlers in the line-up.
Pune Warriors, on the other hand, suffered a setback when Australian Michael Clarke was ruled out of the entire IPL season due to a recurring back injury.
But the return of Yuvraj Singh and the presence of Sri Lanka`s Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis and New Zealand`s Ross Taylor has bolstered the team.
The Warriors, coached by former South African great Allan Donald, also feature some promising domestic stars such as all-rounder like Abhishek Nayar and Parvez Rasool, the first player from Jammu and Kashmir to have been signed by an IPL franchise.
Nayar was an expensive buy at USD 675,000 for the Pune team.
The Teams (from):
Sunrisers Hyderabad: K Sangakkara (Captain), Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Anand Rajan, Ankit Sharrma, Ashish Reddy, Biplab Samantray, Cameron White, Chris Lynn, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, DB Ravi Teja, Hanuma Vihari, Ishant Sharma, Nathan McCullum, Parthiv Patel, Prasant Padmanabhan, Quinton deKock, Sachin Rana, Shikhar Dhawan, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam, Thisara Perera and Veer Pratap Singh.
Pune Warriors: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajanta Mendis, Ali Murtaza, Anustup Mazumdar, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dheeraj Jadhav, Eklavya Dwivedi, Harpreet Singh, Ishwar Pandey, Kane Richardson, Krishnakant Upadhyay, Luke Wright, Mahesh Rawat, Manish Pandey, Marlon Samuels, Mitchell Marsh, Mithun Manhas, Parveez Rasool, Rahul Sharma, R Gomez, Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor, Shrikant Wagh, Steve Smith, T Suman, Tamim Iqbal, Udit Birla, Wayne and Yuvraj Singh.