MUMBAI: Defending the decision to persist with the out-of-form Kane Williamson at the top, Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody said “why change something that’s working for something that’s not working,” adding that the other batters in the side are excelling in their roles.
Skipper Williamson is ending a wretched run in this season of the IPL. The Kiwi has collected just 208 runs from 12 games at an average of 18.92.
“Rahul Tripathi has batted exceptionally well at No.3 and (Aiden) Markram has been one of the leading batters in the tournament at No.4,” Moody defended the move to retain Markram and Tripathi at No.3 and 4 respectively, at the post-match press conference.”
“So, we felt why change something that’s working for something that’s not working.” Williamson has struggled to get going in this edition. In the 54-run loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday, the skipper hit 9 off 17 balls.
“We have trusted Kane with his quality, there’s no question of his world-class quality. So, that’s why we haven’t made that move because as we have seen throughout the tournament where the batting has been functioning really well.”
“That is Abhishek Sharma at the top of the order, Tripathi at 3, Markram 4 and (Nicholas) Pooran 5.”
The Sunrisers were on course to seal off a playoff berth after they were on a five-match winning streak, but things have gone awry for them since then as they have now lost five games on the trot, severely denting their hopes of qualifying for the next stage.
“We did get on a nice winning roll, started to play some good cricket and had everyone available for selection and then we missed a game that we should’ve won to make it six in a row,” Moody said.
Moody said the team lost “a little bit of confidence” when the two of its frontline bowlers — Washington Sundar and T Natarajan — suffered injuries.
“Then we had injuries to Washington and Natarajan. Every team has their injuries, but they play pretty key roles for us in the side and that’s where I think we lost a little bit of confidence and also as a bowling unit a bit of rhythm to our game and method to our defense of 120 balls.”
Russell can do special things: Southee
Kolkata Knight Riders pacer Tim Southee heaped praise on allrounder Andre Russell, whose all-round brilliance kept the team’s slim hopes of a play-off.
“He has been tremendous throughout the whole tournament, not only with the bat but also with the ball. There are few guys around the world, who can do special things and Russell is one of those guys,” Southee said.
“He thrives on those moments and most times than not, he turns in with a performance that the team needs.”
Russell first smashed an unbeaten 49 off 28 balls to take KKR to 177 for six after they were down and out at 94 for 5 and then returned to snap three wickets for 22 runs to limit SRH to 123 for 8.
“The partnership was crucial. We lost a few wickets in the middle and we need”ded to have two overseas players coming together and grab the game and take us to a competitive total. We played here a couple of days back so we knew it was going to be tougher in the second innings.
KKR now have 12 points from 13 games with a net run-rate of +0. 160. With Rajasthan Royals (14 from 12) and RCB (14 from 13 games) having chance to move up, even a victory in their final match is unlikely to be enough for the franchise to make it to the play-offs.
“Every game is a must-win game for us and with one game left, it helps. Last two games we had convincing wins and it just showed the nature of the tournament. It tends to happen the majority of the years when you get into that stage where there are a number of teams that still are able to make the final playoff spots. It is not over till it is over.”