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Bhuvneshwar to captain in SRH's opening match in Markram's absence

Bhuvneshwar has led Sunrisers in seven games in the past, winning two and losing five

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has captained Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past as well  •  Arjun Singh/BCCI

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has captained Sunrisers Hyderabad in the past as well  •  Arjun Singh/BCCI

In the absence of designated captain Aiden Markram, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening match of IPL 2023, against Rajasthan Royals in Hyderabad on April 2.
Markram is in South Africa for the two-match ODI series against Netherlands and will arrive in India only on April 3. The series is crucial for South Africa's direct qualification for the ODI World Cup, to be played in India later this year. They need to win both ODIs against Netherlands (without over-rate penalties) and then hope Ireland lose at least one ODI against Bangladesh in a three-match home series in May.
Bhuvneshwar has been with Sunrisers since their inception in 2013, and has led them in the past as well - in six games in 2019 and once in 2022. Sunrisers won two of those seven matches.
After finishing eighth on the points table in 2022, Sunrisers revamped their squad ahead of this season. One of the big changes was releasing their then-captain Kane Williamson and handing over the reins to Markram.
Markram recently led Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the inaugural SA20 title, where he also finished as the tournament's third-highest run-getter, scoring 369 runs at a strike rate of 127. He also bagged 11 wickets at an economy of 6.19 with his offspin.
Apart from Markram, Marco Jansen and Heinrich Klaasen will also be unavailable for the first match. That leaves Sunrisers with only five overseas players - Harry Brook, Glenn Phillips, Adil Rashid, Fazalhaq Farooqi and Akeal Hosein - to choose from for their first match.
Sunrisers' second game is on April 7, against Lucknow Super Giants in Lucknow.