Captaincy appears to suit David Warner rather well. He took over as leader of Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2015, a season after the franchise had tried Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy. That year, he finished top-scorer in the IPL, making 562 runs. In 2016, he made 848, second only to Virat Kohli, who had a season players can only dream of. This time, he sits on top of the run charts again, with 604 to his name. And he's not finished.
“The foremost thing when someone takes the leadership role is that it doesn't suffocate their own performance,” the SRH coach Tom Moody said here on Tuesday.
“David's one of those players who relishes the challenge of leadership. His own game has taken another step upwards. Pre-match he is very thorough in how he prepares and strategizes against the opponent. He doesn't just go in there on a whim and hope it's going to be OK on the day. A lot of preparation goes on behind the scenes. He's a captain that allows people to express themselves. That's how he is as a player. He doesn't hold any player back from being who they are. He gets along with everyone.”
KKR and SRH met at the same stage of the IPL last season, when the latter triumphed, en route to the title. Gautam Gambhir and Warner meet again in the Eliminator here on Wednesday. The two captains were not much unlike each other, Moody agreed.
“I get your point about two captains leading from the front. Gambhir has been a terrific leader for KKR. We expect him not to give any quarter come tomorrow night. He's a very competitive, combative character, as a leader and a batsman.”
Moody was confident his side could combat the threat posed by Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine at the top of the KKR order.
“We have played KKR twice and we've seen how they got about the Powerplay overs and so far we've been successful in nullifying that (dismissing Narine for one and six). Yes, they got off to a flier here (against RCB) but we hope we don't bowl as inconsistently as that. KKR has their own headaches, in a way. The inclusion of Narine up front has thrown their middle order into a bit of confusion. Because you've got two players at No. 3 and 4 who are so used to opening and have been successful there.”
The Australian did not feel KKR's poor form offered his side an advantage. “KKR's form over the past two weeks is not going to be relevant come tomorrow night,” he said.
“It's a final (sic). They've got a lot of experience, a lot of players who know how to win finals. We have to perform with the same mindset we've done recently.”
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