Analysing his team’s seven-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings (CSK) here on Friday, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) head coach Brian Lara said that the opening combination of Harry Brook and a fully-fit Abhishek Sharma is set to “continue for a period of time.”
SRH has had four different opening combinations so far with Abhishek Sharma having sustained an injury.
“We experimented trying to get Harry Brook up the order, he produced a hundred. If you were asking what team would you have at the beginning of the tournament, obviously it would have been Abhishek and Mayank Agarwal.
“But I think Harry Brook has given the innings some impetus. The couple of times that he’s been able to get off, you can see that he has intention to score which is great.
“And Abhishek is back now. We felt that after the first game he had an injury. He couldn’t have much batting going on. This is his first opportunity since the first game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) to get out there and bat opening.
“I think we pretty much know that the left-right combination is not a bad combination to have. It didn’t entirely work today. But I think there was some promise today,” he said in the post-match press conference.
Lara added that the team’s strategy is to have Mayank come in at No. 3 if an early wicket is lost. And if the team gets out of Powerplay with some good overs, Mayank is to come lower down the order after Rahul Tripathi and Aiden Markram. On Friday, Mayank batted at No. 6, coming in after Tripathi, Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen.
“Obviously, with that (strategy), it sort of displaces Mayank, but when you have a player like him who’s very committed to the team and willing to do anything, he backs himself.
And what I like about it is that he had a positive approach to it, and it didn’t work out for him today (Friday), but I like the attitude which is most important,” said Lara.
Asked if Washington Sundar, who has even opened the innings in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL), may be considered for batting higher up the order, he said: “I think, first of all, we picked a squad with three or so openers, and Washington’s value to the team is with both the ball and the bat.
“We’ve got players that can sort of play in the top positions, that’s what they were selected for, that’s what they were bought for. And, you know, sort of a Washington situation, yes, you want him to be that great all-rounder with both the bat and the ball.
But I think it’s gonna take time. Saying, well, you know, this kid has potential and let’s get him up to one, two, three, four (batting positions) is I think pretty much pressing the panic button, we’re not gonna do that yet.
“On paper, it’s a very strong squad. We just haven’t fired. We fired in sort of one or two games. But definitely on a surface such as this (Friday’s slower wicket versus CSK), maybe our expectations were too high in terms of trying to get the best part of the new ball and get a score of 175+.
“We know for a fact that CSK always try to dominate the middle overs and try to squeeze you, which they did again, but we were pretty much aware of it and didn’t handle it as we should have.”
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