Tom Moody hopeful of SRH replicating form of last season

However, the head coach pointed out every edition of the Indian Premier League was unique.

Tom Moody (first from left), Ben Laughlin and Chris Jordan interact with the media in Hyderabad on Sunday.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Sunrisers Hyderabad head coach Tom Moody dismissed the idea that his team will be burdened by extra pressure due to its Indian Premier League title triumph last year. He pointed out that every edition of the tournament was unique. “I look at the coming edition as another book, not just a chapter,” he said in a media interaction on Sunday here, present alongside Ben Laughlin and Chris Jordan.

“Yes, we are all definitely proud at what the team has achieved last year by winning the championship. We hope just hope to replicate that kind of form,” Moody said.

He backed David Warner, who went through an indifferent tour of India in the recently-concluded Test series, to come good soon with the bat. “It is all about getting rhythm. He is one of those players who is one boundary away from scoring against any attack. He can jump off the blocks very quickly,” Moody commented.

“We are all excited to have the Afghan players - [Mohammad] Nabi and Rashid [Khan]. Both lend variety to the squad. Rashid has troubled the best in the business with his bowling and is a very good spinning all-rounder option for us in the middle-overs,” he replied to a query. “Touch wood, there are no injury scares for us and we feel confident with the depth of our bench strength too,” he added.

Moody looked forward to a keenly contested event. “I think like any of the previous editions, this IPL too should be a hard-fought tournament as all franchisees have put in a lot of efforts to have the best combinations with some of the best international players in the line-ups,” Moody said.

“The first match (on April 5) being against the team whom we beat in the last year’s final (Royal Challengers Bangalore), we hope for strong crowd support,” he added.

There was no official word from Mustafizur Rahman, the left-arm seamer from Bangladesh, but Moody expects him to join the side by April 7. Mustafizur, however, told Sportstar earlier this week that his participation in the Indian Premier League was unlikely.

Referring to the team training schedule, Moody said the franchisee felt it important to ensure the players got support from family to be mentally and physically fresh for challenges on the field. “We have been in regular contact with Davy (David Warner). We feel these are the kind of breaks from international cricket which actually recharge the batteries,” he said.

Out-of-form openers

Moody hoped openers Warner and Shikhar Dhawan would come good again, like last year. “I don’t expect anything different from them this season. We are aware of Dhawan’s lean patch which again happens to be the best of the players in the world. But, importantly for our team, Dhawan struck form with a century and a half-century recently (Deodhar Trophy in Visakhapatnam),” he pointed out.

Moody felt India veterans Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh brought overwhelming experience with them to the team. “Even last season, we did not expect Nehra to play all the games given the fact that he is at the back-end of his career. We don’t expect him to play every single game in coming edition, too,” Moody said. “And, Yuvraj got back to Indian set-up which is great for us too. We all know how destructive he can be. [It’s] a delight to watch coming up with those impact innings like he did last season,” the head coach commented. “Both Mohd. Siraj (fast bowler) and Tanmay Agarwal (left-handed opener) are very good talent. But, they are unlikely to figure in the first game. But as the event goes on, they will get chances to play,” he said.

“There are no genuine concerns right now. It is important to have the right kind of team environment where everyone is involved and enjoys the sessions. Create a positive environment to let the players dish out natural game,” Moody concluded before another training session.