Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 game in the absence of Aiden Markram. SRH will take on Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Hyderabad on Thursday (April 2). Markram is part of the South Africa squad for the two One-Day Internationals (ODI) against Netherlands, which is vital in the Proteas' bid to secure a direct World Cup qualification.
South Africa will have to secure maximum points against the Dutch and hope that Ireland drop points in the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh in Chelmsford in May.
Bhuvneshway has led SRH on seven occasions - six in 2019 and once in 2022 - winning just two of them. SRH finished eighth in IPL 2022 and since then have made a host of changes that included getting rid of their skipper Kane Williamson and handing Markram the responsibility of leading the side. The South Africa batter led Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the title in the inaugural SA20 which has seen him as an automatic choice to lead SRH.
Markram, who was bought for INR 2.60 crore in the IPL 2022 auction, finished his first season with the Orange Army with 381 runs at a strike-rate of 139.05. He was in excellent form in the SA20 as well, finishing the tournament as the third-highest run-getter with 369 runs and also chipped in with 11 wickets at an economy rate of 6.19 with his part-time off-spin bowling.
Along with Markram, Marco Jansen and Heinrich Klaasen will miss the first game due to the Netherlands series. The ODIs conclude on Sunday (April 2). SRH would love to have the trio back for their second game against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on Friday (April 7) in Lucknow.