From Deccan Chargers to Sunrisers Hyderabad: A Legacy Born in Orange

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? It’s an answer nobody has, but we actually witnessed it in the 2016 IPL season. 

The unstoppable force was the Virat Kohli-driven Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli has been at the top of his game for more than a decade and has dominated every format of the game. His batting stats have always been at the top, better than any batter in the world. But if you had to pick one year when Virat Kohli was at his peak, it would be 2016, wouldn’t it? He was unplayable, smashing 4 centuries in a single IPL season. Royal Challengers Bangalore were having a forgettable season, but he single-handedly dragged them out of the trenches to reach to the IPL finals.

The SRH IPL Team 2016 Celebrate an RCB Wicket in the 2016 IPL Final


Enter, the unmovable object in this equation, The Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL team. RCB met Sunrisers, the high flyers in that season, and unfolded one of the best IPL finals ever. The match which was being played at the Chinnaswamy Ground, the home ground of Bangalore was the perfect setting for RCB to win their first-ever trophy. But, the immovable object Sunrisers Hyderabad emerged victorious, denying RCB the treasured trophy, that too on their home ground! And since that day, this has been the legacy of Sunrisers Hyderabad, the team that stopped King Kohli.

In this article by ZAP, let's dive deep and learn more about the Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL Team, their history, their home ground and their legends. 

From Deccan Chargers to Sunrisers Hyderabad - History and Owners:

Deccan Chargers were one of the very first teams in the IPL and were owned by the media company, Deccan Chronicle, who bought them for US$107 million (about Rs. 800 crore in today’s value). The team was one of the best teams and even had legendary players like Kumar Sangakkara, Adam Gilchrist, and future legend Rohit Sharma playing for them. They even were the winners of the second season of the IPL beating Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Finals in 2009. The team played in the IPL for three more seasons, until 2012 and then their owners, the Deccan Chronicles went bankrupt.

The Deccan Chargers IPL Team celebrate with the IPL Trophy in 2009

Credit: Hindustan Times

The franchise was once again put on a bidding war, and this is where the new owners, Sun TV Network, acquired rights to the Franchise for $11 M, for about US$11 million (₹85.05 crore) per year for a five-year deal. With 32 TV channels and 45 FM radio stations, Sun TV Network Limited is one of the largest television networks in India and the country's largest media and entertainment conglomerate. There’s always a girl that the cameraman focuses on in every SRH match, and that is the Sunrisers Hyderabad CEO, Kavya Maran, who is also the daughter of Sun Group founder, Kalanithi Maran.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) CEO Kavya Maran cheers for the team

Credit: Business Today

Sunrisers Hyderabad's IPL Journey over the years:

Sunrisers Hyderabad started their IPL journey with a bang, qualifying for the playoffs in the very first season. Inheriting 20 players from the Chargers, they made a strong debut, reaching the playoffs but fell short against Rajasthan Royals. Over the years, SRH saw ups and downs, changing captains like Kumar Sangakkara, Cameron White, Shikhar Dhawan, and David Warner.

In 2014, with SRH retained the premier fast bowler Dale Steyn and Shikhar Dhawan. The franchise didn't do very well in the season, finishing outside the playoffs and placing 6th, with both Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy, captaining the side.

David Warner took over the side in the 2015 season, and after a year of finishing outside the playoffs, he led the team to its highest. The pivotal moment occurred in 2016 when SRH, led by David Warner, won their first IPL championship.

The 2018 season saw an abrupt change in captaincy after Warner was suspended for his ball-tampering incident with the Australian Cricket Team. Kane Williamson did a phenomenal job carrying the team to the finals, with outstanding individual performances but missed out on the trophy against Chennai Super Kings.

In the subsequent seasons, SRH didn’t enjoy much success, never reaching close to the IPL Trophy. The 2021 season was filled with struggles and Warner was sacked from captaincy midseason. This eventually led to a fallout between the player and the franchise. 2022 season wasn’t good either for the franchise, where they finished 8th. The team started fresh by appointing Aiden Markram as captain and Brian Lara as head coach, with new important additions like Harry Brook and Mayank Agarwal as the batting spine. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad Cricket Team's 2016 IPL Trophy:

Sunriser Hyderabad IPL Team celebrates with the IPL Trophy 2016

Credit: ESPNcricinfo

The 2016 IPL final between the SRH and RCB was the Hyderabad franchise’s most remarkable match. After winning the toss, SRH chose to bat first, putting up a massive total of 208/7 in 20 overs. It was a huge collective effort of the team, with David Warner firing with the bat in the start in powerplay overs and the middle overs, and then Ben Cutting finishing the innings off with a quick-fire innings in the death overs. Bangalore started, with openers Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli, taking an aggressive approach and scoring 100 in only the first 10 overs. But, Gayle's wicket allowed Hyderabad to press the brakes. After dismissing Gayle, Kohli, and de Villiers in the course of 20 balls, Hyderabad was able to keep up the pressure on Bangalore. The Royal Challengers Bangalore only managed to score 200/7 from their 20 overs, falling short of the target by 8 runs.

Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL Team and Legends:

David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Best Captain:

David Warner Celebrates a Century he scored while batting for Sunrisers Hyderabad

Credit: ESPNcricinfo

David Warner was the first captain to win SRH the IPL Trophy. His destructive batting technique, paired with Shikhar Dhawan's calm, created one of the best opening pair of the tournament in their peak years. Warner scored the majority of the team's runs and still continues to be the team's top run scorer. He even won multiple orange caps for the most runs in a season for the franchise, and his contribution to the team makes him an undisputed legend of the franchise. But this relationship, saw its end in the 2021 season. With just one victory in seven games during the 2021 season, SRH was in poor form, and Warner had some really underwhelming performances with the bat. He was sacked from cptaincy and even dropped from the playing 11. SRH named Kane Williamson as their captain for the rest of the season, and in many games he appeared on the sidelines as the water boy. Warner bid the Hyderabad franchise farewell in the next IPL mega auction, ending the relationship bitterly, and joined the Delhi Capitals.

Shikhar Dhawan:

Shikhar Dhawan plays a pull shot while batting for SRH in the IPL

Credit: DNA India

Shikhar Dhawan formed the explosive opening partnership alongside Warner and had some of his best years in the IPL with SRH. He was the perfect foil to Warner's aggression, adding calm and stability to the batting lineup. His graceful batting technique, strokeplay, and dependable run-scoring provided the perfect counterpoint to Warner's flamboyant style. He scored 2768 runs for the franchise and is truly a legend. He too left to join the Punjab Kings with a bitter taste, after feeling underappreciated by the management and fans. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar:

Bhuvneshwar Kumar celebrates a wicket in the IPL

Credit: NDTV Sports

Since the team's creation, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, fondly called by the Orange Army as "Bhuvi"—has been the team's bowling spearhead. His new-ball swing bowling magic has bamboozled countless batsmen. Not only in with the new leather ball in the powerplay overs, but he was one of the most lethal death bowlers during his peak years at SRH. His yorkers were equally as deadly as his inswingers and outswingers. For his bowling and performances, he even won the Purple Cap Twice, for the most wickets in a season. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL 2024 Squad:

The SRH Retained the following players before the IPL Auction:

Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Marco Jansen, Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Glenn Phillips, Sanvir Singh, Heinrich Klaasen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Agarwal, T. Natarajan, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Markande, Upendra Singh Yadav, Umran Malik, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Shahbaz Ahmed (traded from RCB).

SRH Players bought in the IPL 2024 Auction:

Pat Cummins (Rs. 20.50 crore), Travis Head (Rs. 6.80 crore), Jaydev Unadkat (Rs. 1.60 crore), Wanindu Hasaranga (Rs. 1.5 crore), Akash Singh (Rs. 20 lakh), Jhathavedh Subramanyan (Rs. 20 lakh).

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) Full Squad for 2024 IPL Season:

Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram (c), Marco Jansen, Rahul Tripathi, Washington Sundar, Glenn Phillips, Sanvir Singh, Heinrich Klaasen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mayank Agarwal, T. Natarajan, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Markande, Upendra Singh Yadav, Umran Malik, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Shahbaz Ahmed , Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pat Cummins, Jaydev Unadkat, Akash Singh, Jhathavedh Subramanyan. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad Home Ground - Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium:

A Jam Packed Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium during a Sunrisers Hyderabad IPL match

The Sunrisers Hyderabad call the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Ground, in Hyderabad, their home. This stadium is one of the biggest cricket grounds in India and has a seating capacity of 55,000 spectators. The 2017 IPL Opening game and the 2017 IPL Final were both held at this stadium. The 2017 Final was the one between the Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Super Giants, where MI clinched a 1 run victory to win their 3rd trophy. Overall, the fan turnout at the Hyderabad Stadium is always jam packed, and the team reciprocates in a similar way with a 62% win rate at their home. 

Also Read: Wankhede Stadium | MCA Stadium Pune | Eden Gardens | Narendra Modi Stadium

Sunrisers Hyderabad Logo, Jersey and Official Song:

The Sunrisers Hyderabad logo goes well with its name and has a phoenix rising from behind the crest. The stylized rising sun behind the phoenix symbolizes the dawn of a new dominant team, which the Sunrisers were during their first season. Complementing the logo, the SRH team's jersey is a dynamic interplay of orange and black and has been of the same colour palette every season. As the teams walks onto their home ground for every match, the Orange Army, the official fan army of the franchise is there to support the team with their official anthem, the OrangeArmy Anthem.

Sunrisers Hyderabad Rivalry vs Royal Challengers Bangalore:

David Warner Fist Bumps Virat Kohli in an RCB vs SRH Match


Sunrisers Hyderabad’s biggest rivalry has always been with the Royal Challengers Bangalore.  Though this looks like an equal matchup, both, the Deccan Chargers and the Sunrisers have consistently held the upper hand, winning crucial encounters that affected RCB's campaigns. Some of the most remembered encounters between the team include the 2009 and 2016 IPL finals, where Deccan Chargers and Hyderabad emerged victorious, respectively. The pattern continued in 2020 when Kane Williamson's fifty destroyed RCB's aspirations in a high-stakes eliminator. SRH stopped RCB from moving up to the top 2 even in their dismal 2021 campaign, which sent them to the eliminator and eventual elimination by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). In 21 matches played against Bangalore, SRH have won 12 times and lost 9. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad Team and Indiviudual Records:

Most Matches:

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 101 matches (2014-2021)

Most Matches as Captain:

  • David Warner - 67 matches, Win % - 53.73 (2015-2021)

Most Runs:

  • David Warner - 4,014 runs (2014-2021)

Highest Individual Score:

  • David Warner - 126 vs KKR, 30 April 2017

Most Half-Centuries:

  • David Warner - 40

Most Centuries:

  • David Warner - 2

Most Sixes:

  • David Warner - 143

Most Fours:

  • David Warner - 379

Most Career Wickets:

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 118* wickets

Best Figures in an Innings:

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 5/19 vs KXIP

Most Wickets in a Series:

  • Bhuvneshwar Kumar - 26 wickets in the 2017 season


The Sunrisers Hyderabad has overall been a decent side ever since they were formed. Most of their success came when they were led by the experienced players like Warner and Shikhar and then Kane Williamson. A bad decline came in the subsequent years when the team was very heavily dependent on the youngsters. Also their IPL auction buying strategy has hurt them a lot, but now with the expensive buy of Pat Cummins for 20.5 Crore, gets them an experienced player, a world cup winner and the current captain of the Australian Cricket Team, which should instantly thake their games to a notch up. We can only wait and watch how the 2024 IPL season unfolds for them. Till then, 


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