Sunrisers Hyderabad suffered a huge loss - their first-choice captain and best batsman David Warner was barred from playing the 2018 IPL because of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa - but the franchise is confident his replacement, England's Alex Hales, will succeed as an opener.
"We strongly felt that he is of international quality, and being a right-hander, should be the perfect complement to left-handed Shikhar Dhawan," Sunrisers coach Tom Moody said in Hyderabad. "So we opt to use him at the top of the order for a left-right combination.
"And he's recently dedicated to white-ball cricket. He's fully committed to develop and grow as a white-ball cricketer, and that's important to our philosophies as a management group. We believe in identifying talent prepared to grow as individual cricketers because we, obviously, as a franchise will grow with them."
Hales will have big shoes to fill. Warner led Sunrisers to the IPL title in 2016, with 848 runs - the second-highest tally in the season - at a strike-rate of over 150. Last season, he was the tournament's top scorer as Sunrisers made the knockouts.
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