Kumar Sangakkara, the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain, said that while the team would be affected by the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, his injury would offer a younger player a chance to perform. Dhawan fractured his finger while fielding in the third Test against Australia in March.
"I think it is a huge loss," Sangakkara said. "I watched him scoring that magnificent century for India against Australia in his debut Test. But, we have replacements who are probably good enough to do the job and we are excited to give that opportunity to a younger guy."
In the absence of Dhawan, Parthiv Patel, the former India wicketkeeper, is likely to shoulder the responsibility of opening the innings along with Sangakkara. "If you look at my career, I batted in almost every position. I am ready for any challenge," Patel said.
Sangakkara also said their first match against Pune Warriors would help the new team understand where it stands and use it as a reference point for further improvement.
"We just want to keep things as simple as possible, play some good cricket, be very competitive in this tournament and then once we played the first match, then we will understand more, probably better, where we are at the moment and build from there again," he said.
Amit Mishra, the team's legspinner, who struggled with his fitness during the last IPL, was also upbeat about the new season. "In the last edition I rushed into the IPL after an injury. I was not fully fit. This time I come into the IPL with decent performances in domestic cricket. Being one of the top five bowlers in the IPL gives me great pleasure."