HYDERABAD:The face-off between two teams, one up there in the points table and the other aspiring to get there, is bound to have some high-octane action as Gujarat Lions (GL) takes on Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium here on Friday.
“Yuvraj (Singh) is available and very much in our thoughts,” was all that SRH coach Tom Moody would say on the eve of the contest. With a good five-day break from their last match on Saturday, were the Sunrisers following the other teams?
“We’ve watched all the matches but there’s no point worrying about what other teams are doing,” said the strapping Australian.
On linguistic barriers between the team and Mustafizur Rahman, Moody said, “He has fitted into the team well and the group has warmed up to him. He’s a funny guy. He’s not fluent in English and nor are we in Bengali. But cricket is a universal language.”
As with most teams, was the Lions’ top trio the major threat? “No doubt about it and we are prepared for it, especially after playing well against them last time.
“They’ve got match-winners too,” he added as a footnote of caution.
Whether Yuvraj’s selection could upset the mix, he replied, “It’s not difficult to accommodate a match-winner. He adds a lot to the side. Yuvi brings a lot of versatility to the team,” he stressed.
Gujarat Lions’ Dinesh Karthik was quite modest about his consistent form.
“My experience helps when it comes to consistency, especially in knowing how to react to certain situations.”
On the Lions slumping to two defeats on the trot, the wicket-keeper batsman became introspective.
“They were two tough games. We batted poorly. And batting is our obvious strength. It is important not to change too much in the face of setbacks,” he observed.
On whether the middle couldn’t match the top order, he said, “Jaddu (Ravindra Jadeja) has got runs for us. It’s only a matter of time before (Dwayne) Bravo gets going.”
Since momentum mattered so much in this tournament, were the two defeats hard to take?
“It is difficult to regroup after two losses. It has got the boys together and we are working on correcting the mistakes,” he said.
Whether the sweep was his go-to shot, the swashbuckler said, “It depends on the bowler and situation. I try to be instinctive and not to be too programmed. It’s a love-hate relationship with the sweep.