Sunrisers hope experience takes them to win over KXIP, IPL playoffs

  • Ashutosh Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mohali
  • Updated: May 15, 2016 13:18 IST
Shikhar Dhawan (right), seen here with Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner, is finding form at the right moment in the campaign. Kings XI Punjab know the two can take the game away if they get set. (AFP)

Sometimes the misfortune of one can be a blessing for another. That was the gist of what Sunrisers coach, Tom Moody, said when he explained how the ban on Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals freed up a few players, which in turn helped his side fill critical areas.

With seven wins and four losses, Sunrisers Hyderabad look to seal a play-off berth and Moody believes the team was able to add a few crucial players, who have helped the team play more consistently.

“If we look at the squad this year, the two sides which have been banned from IPL freed up many players for the auctions, which otherwise, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to access through auction or trading. So, we have managed to fill up a few critical areas in the squad. The side is more complete with bat and ball. For example, picking up the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Ashish Nehra has helped add depth and experience to the squad.”

Though Yuvaj and Nehra have brought in a wealth of experience and talent, they haven’t set the IPL alight. As table toppers, Sunrisers are likely to secure a playoff berth, but in the 11 matches so far, it has been skipper David Warner’s show.

The Aussie has led the batting, amassing 515 runs. Yuvraj, bought for Rs 7 crore, is yet to have a decent outing after returning from injury while Shikhar Dhawan, after the initial struggles, signalled a return to form with an unbeaten 82 against Mumbai Indians.

The bowling has lent support with crucial spells by Nehra, Bangladesh left-arm paceman Mustafizur Rahman and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who have snared 36 wickets between them.

But after the seven-wicket defeat against Delhi Daredevils in the last match, Moody is not ready to accept that his side have an advantage. As the scramble for the playoffs intensifies, the Aussie hoped his team would bring their ‘A’ game to Sunday afternoon’s clash.

“We know they (KXIP) are a dangerous side but have lacked the consistency, but we will have to bring our ‘A’ game, and if we drop our guard in batting, bowling or fielding, we know they can hit back hard,” he said.

For KXIP, the writing is on the wall with four wins and seven losses, but the win against Mumbai Indians on Friday night does give the side some hope of ending the season on a high, and becoming party-poopers.

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