When Sunrisers Hyderabad played here for the first time this season last week, they were struggling. With only three wins from seven matches, they depended on skipper David Warner and fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan to carry them through with the middle-order not making a mark.
However, as Sunrisers prepare to take on the Kings XI Punjab at the Uppal Stadium on Monday, the situation has undergone a change.
Sunrisers lie fourth in the IPL standings after defeating Delhi Daredevils on Saturday night. With only a handful of matches left, they aim to consolidate their position among the top four to seal a playoff berth.
So, what’s changed abruptly? Thanks to Eoin Morgan and Moises Henriques, the middleorder has found its feet. The England ODI captain, a dangerous T20 batsman, is finally able to get runs.
After an unbeaten 32 against Chennai last week here, the left-hander’s 63 off 28 balls ensured victory against Rajasthan Royals at a time when the team had sunk to second last on the table. Even Kevin Pietersen admitted that Morgan’s IPL stint will help England in the long run.
“Everybody needs runs. For him this is brilliant, for England this is even better —he’s their captain. He’s playing against (Shane) Watson, (Chris) Morris and he's surrounded by (Muttiah) Muralitharan (Sunrisers bowling coach)... he's got all these blokes around him - superstars.This is benefiting his game," KP had said. Morgan said: "It felt good. I’ve sort of worked on a few things after a little review on how the World cup went personally." Under Morgan, England were eliminated in the preliminary stage.
When Sunrisers played KXIP in Mohali last month, Australian all-rounder Henriques scored 30 and took a wicket, Sunrisers winning by 20 runs. But his 46-ball 74 not out against Daredevils was a big step up.
KXIP lie last in the points table, having won just two matches and Sunrisers would want to extend their 3-2 head-tohead record.
There is some unease over local authorities threatening to seal the stadium over Hyderabad Cricket Association not paying property taxes. It has been confirmed that HCA has approached the government for help and Monday’s match will take place.