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Bangalore: May 3, 2014
Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody is hopeful that it’s just a matter of time before they get a big knock from captain Shikhar Dhawan. “That big knock is just round the corner. He has got close on a couple of occasions where he has got good starts and he just has not capitalised on those good starts,” he told reporters on the eve of their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.
Dhawan, along with a number of big Indian players, have not quite hit their straps according to Moody. About local lad KL Rahul, Moody said he is an exciting young prospect.
“There is a reason that we have given him an opportunity at the top of the order and that’s because we back him. We think he is a good enough player to bat at No 3 or No 4. And he has shown throughout from the start of the tournament,” he said.
“We are pretty comfortable with the batting order as it stands, whether Warner goes No 3 or No 4,” he said. “Moving too many parts around in that top-order creates uncertainty and also creates that inconsistency … we also feel David is probably more of an adaptable player, he has shown that, to bat at No 3 or No 4.”
“Dhawan is at his very best at the top of the order and Finch is one of the in-form openers of the competition and [we] want him to continue,” Moody said.
Asked why the big names have not performed, Moody said the conditions were tough in UAE — the wickets were slow. “I think the conditions were pretty tough, to be honest with you. The wickets were quite slow, so it restricted those free-flowing batsmen to particularly in those early overs to really capitalise,” he said.
“Smith and McCullum … They really have been the only standout opening pair that have been able to grab the tournament by the scruff of the neck in the first six overs,” he said.
Hyderabad are sitting sort of mid-range in the IPL 7 Points Table knowing that they have got everything to play for along with many other teams, Moody added.
“There are only two teams — CSK and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) — that have really played to their potential and that’s reflected in the table,” he said.
Moody said there are big names in all eight franchises, and to single out Hyderabad for not performing is incorrect because they were on par with RCB points-wise.
“I think there are big names in all eight franchises, so to single us out is I think incorrect because the team we are playing on Sunday have got equal names and I think that is the beauty of the IPL this year and it is the beauty of the way the auction was run this year with regard to challenging franchises to pick strategically,” he added.
Asked about challenges on returning to India after playing in UAE under different conditions, Moody said he did not see it as such, instead he saw an opportunity for players to show their skills and adapt.
“I don’t see it as a challenge. I think that it is more of an opportunity for players to show their skills and adapt and that’s what T20 cricket is about,” he said.
“What I will be asking our players is to adapt quickly to what might well be a slightly quicker wicket in Indian and maybe conditions where the ball will swing around a little bit where we didn’t have those conditions in the UAE.”
Moody also said it takes a couple of days just to get adjusted with the travel workload.
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