Natarajan has a brilliant yorker who famously undid the genius AB de Villiers in a knockout clash during IPL 2020.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH ) had a horror run in IPL 2021. They finished last, registering only three wins and 11 losses in 14 matches. There was a lot of needless drama in the SRH camp as well. David Warner was replaced as captain by Kane Williamson midway through IPL 2021. SRH sacked warner as a leader; he wasn’t even picked as a player for the last few matches of the franchise. Not surprisingly, Warner was released by the franchise ahead of the IPL 2022 auction. SRH retained only three players – Kane Williamson (Rs 14 crore), Abdul Samad (Rs 4 crore), Umran Malik (Rs 4 crore). As a result, they have a purse of Rs 68 crore remaining. Keeping in mind the same, we look at five players SRH could target at the auction in January. 

One big purchase: Pat Cummins (6-8 crore)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) purchased new Australian Test captain Pat Cummins for Rs 15.5 crore at the IPL 2020 auction. While Cummins is a very good fast bowler across formats, no doubt, the price seemed exorbitant to many experts. The pacer did not have a great IPL 2020 season, claiming 12 wickets in 14 games. In 2021, he picked up nine in seven and also smashed an incredible 66 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Cummins is a very good bowler if utilized well. He bowls at a great pace and is accurate as well. SRH struggled in IPL 2021 because they lacked a good fast bowler. Bringing in Cummins can boost this department of theirs. He can also guide the raw Umran Malik, who bowled with great pace in the last few matches he played. Apart from being a quality, fast bowler, Cummins is a more than a handy bat.

Elite purchases: T Natarajan, KS Bharat (3-4 crore)

SRH did not retain left-arm pacer T Natarajan ahead of the auction, which was a bit of a surprise. He missed most of IPL 2021 due to injury issues, but he was one of the key reasons behind their successful run in the IPL 2020 season. He played only two matches for SRH in the recently concluded season but bagged 16 in as many matches the year before. Natarajan has a brilliant yorker who famously undid the genius AB de Villiers in a knockout clash during IPL 2020. He varies his deliveries well and is a match-winner with the ball in the true sense. There is no reason why SRH shouldn’t buy Natarajan again if fit.

Wicketkeeper-batters are in great demand in the IPL. And, with SRH having released Jonny Bairstow, they will be keen to find a suitable replacement. KS Bharat can be a decent option. He represented RCB in IPL 2021 and did a pretty good job scoring 191 runs in eight matches. This included a best of 78 not out against Delhi Capitals (DC), in which Bharat slammed that famous last-ball six off Avesh Khan. He is an agile keeper as well.

Decent purchases: Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary (1-2 crore)

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav has not got to play a lot of IPL matches since he has been part of Mumbai Indians (MI) in recent years. In his overall IPL career, he has only played 19 matches in which he has claimed eight wickets. But Yadav has a brilliant economy rate of 6.86 and is a canny operator. He picked up only one wicket in two IPL 2020, but it was the massive one of Shikhar Dhawan in the final. Yadav is a handy batter as well.

With Hardik Pandya unfit, Saurabh Tiwary was given a few chances for MI in IPL 2021. To his credit, the left-hander grabbed his opportunity and scored 115 runs in five games, including a half-century. Tiwary batted with maturity and also shut critics who were questioning his fitness. He was in decent form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. It could be a smart pick in the middle-order.

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