The first thing that strikes you about the Sunrisers Hyderabad this year is the number of options they have given themselves. Nobody made better use of their resources than they did last year where often the question was whom to pick rather than whom to leave out. It is the latter question that will occupy their minds and it is a better problem to have!
Essentially Sunrisers will have to focus on the composition of their bowling. If they choose to play two spinners (Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma or Parvez Rasool) then there is a very hard decision on the seam bowling front. Playing both Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma alongside Dale Steyn leaves no room for Irfan Pathan given Darren Sammy will play.
With one spinner this could be the line up:
Warner, Finch, Dhawan, Naman Ojha, V Rao, Sammy, Pathan, A Mishra, B Kumar, Steyn, Ishant.
If a second spinner has to play, say Karn Sharma, they need to choose between Bhuvaneshwar and Ishant or leave out Irfan Pathan or, with the strength of the top order, back Sammy to play at no 5 with Pathan at no 6. It will mean a very long tail and too much bowling. If however Rasool plays as a second spinner, he could come in for Pathan in the above line up.
My feeling though is that the best line up will be Sammy and Pathan playing as all-rounders contributing as one bowler between them with two spinners and two seamers.
The batting seems a bit top heavy at first sight but in a 20 over game, you don’t really need more than 4-5 if you have decent all-rounders to follow (Moises Henriques can come in for Sammy). They will miss a strong Indian batsman at no 4 or no 5 though you cannot pick everybody
The bowling looks in good hands (Jason Holder is a very good back up for Steyn) but the form of the top three is critical. Brendan Taylor is a good back up there and if he has to play, he can fill in as a keeper too.
In all, much better side than last year.