Henriques: ‘The higher I bat in T20, the better’

On Henriques’ elevation to No. 3 in the batting hierarchy, he said it was humbling to be given precedence over someone such as Kane Williamson. “I rate Kane much higher than myself for he is a world class batsman,” acknowledged the Aussie all-rounder.

Moises Henriques celebrates his fifty during the first match of IPL 2017 against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Wednesday.   -  PTI

Moises Constantino Henriques is the quintessential team man. In a chat with journalists on Thursday, he had more to say about his Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) team-mates than his quickfire 52. That knock was pivotal in the host's 35-run win against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday night.

“In an over where he got 16, Shikhar Dhawan gave a lot of momentum. Age didn't matter as Yuvraj made batting seem so easy, his bat swing pure and natural. Coming early in the tournament, it's fantastic to see him batting so well,” gushed Henriques.

“In four seasons with SRH, I have seen Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar) to be the most consistent. His performances have been world class on pitches that don't suit bowlers much. In yesterday's win, his yorkers were perfect,” said the towering pro, who needed three rounds of surgery on his broken jaw after a collision with Surrey team-mate Rory Burns in a NatWest T20 Blast game against Sussex at Arundel.

On his elevation to No. 3 in the batting hierarchy, he said it was humbling to be given precedence over someone such as Kane Williamson. “I rate Kane much higher than myself for he is a world class batsman,” acknowledged the Aussie all-rounder.

“It was nice to get a crack at 3, because it offers more opportunities to score runs. The higher I bat in T20, the better,” he surmised. On frequent switches in formats, he said it had become part and parcel of international cricket. “It's necessary to perform on whatever stage and adapt to what's thrown at you,” he added.

With such athleticism, how come he chose cricket in a sports-mad country ? “I was born to Portuguese parents, pretty fond of football. But right from childhood I was passionate about cricket,” he explained.

Is the IPL a calming influence, considering the heated series against Australia that preceded it ? “The IPL breaks down barriers. Players get to know each other off the field and that's where true friendships are built up. After all, life's more important than cricket,” concluded Henriques.