One of the most consistent teams in the Indian Premier League over the last five years, Sunrisers Hyderabad would look to improve upon their middle-order batting in the upcoming 14th edition of the T20 league.
Since winning their only IPL title in 2016 under Warner's leadership, SRH have always made it to the play-offs but failed to finish on top.
In 2017, SRH lost to Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator, while the Hyderabad outfit finished runners-up the following year, after losing to Chennai Super Kings in the final.
In the 2019 and 2020 editions, SRH lost both times to Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator and Qualifier 2 respectively.
Having retained their core group for the 2021 season, SRH wasn't that active in the IPL Players' Auction earlier this year, only adding a few back-up options to their already settled line-up.
However, the middle-order was a concern last year where they depended on the likes of young guns like Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad.
The main strength of SRH is the presence of some world class batsmen in the top order.
With the likes of David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey and Wriddhiman Saha up their ranks, SRH have one of the most destructive batting line-ups in IPL 2021.
Warner and Bairstow form one of the most feared opening pairs in the IPL. The duo has no qualms in taking the opposition attack from ball one and once they get going, no target is beyond them.
However with an in-form Roy also in the equation, the choice of four foreigners won't be that easy with the likes of captain Warner and Rashid Khan picking themselves.
England opener Bairstow was in splendid form in the ODI series against India recently and given his good record opening the batting for SRH with Warner in the last few years, it will be very difficult to keep him out.
Jason Holder's all-round skills also makes him a top contender but he also faces competition from the experienced Williamson for the four overseas slot in the playing XI.
SRH's bowling too looks impressive with fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rashid leading the pack. The presence of Afghanistan's spin ace Mujeeb-ur Rahman and yorker specialist Thangarasu Natarajan adds the much-needed impetus to their attack.
The major weakness of SRH is the absence of a finisher in their line-up. The middle-order too looked shaky in the last IPL in the UAE and that is where SRH would be banking on Williamson's vast experience.
Although Shankar is rated highly as an all-rounder in domestic cricket, the Tamil Nadu cricketer is yet to prove his mettle for SRH and that is something which would be a cause of concern for the team management.
Even though SRH has roped in Kedar Jadhav this year, it remains to be seen whether the Maharshtra all-rounder can prove his worth considering the fact that he is very much short of match practice after losing his place in the Indian team.
Saha if given a promotion in the batting order would look at it as an opportunity to show his range of strokes while Jadhav, whose international career is as good as over could add that muscle which the SRH desperately require in the death overs.
This IPL will be a make-or-break one for Pandey, who has already fallen in the pecking order as far as national team is concerned.
SRH is heavily reliant on its top-order to provide a good start and if the likes of Warner, Bairstow, Pandey and Williamson fail with the bat, the pressure would shift to the team's lower order, which includes the likes of big-hitters like Shankar, Holder, Samad and others.
On the bowling front too, SRH is over-dependent on Bhuvneshwar and Rashid to deliver the goods.
Squad: David Warner (captain), Kane Williamson, Virat Singh, Manish Pandey, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha (w/k), Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Sreevats Goswami, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Kedar Jadhav, Jagadeesha Suchit, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, Thangarasu Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddharth Kaul, Basil Thampi, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mujeeb ur Rahman.