Sunrisers Hyderabad coach Tom Moody on Tuesday said Kolkata Knight Riders’ recent slump in form would not have any bearing on the eliminator tomorrow as they have enough experience of playing in the knockouts.
The Knight Riders have lost four matches out of their last five matches.
“KKR’s form over the past two weeks is not going to be relevant tomorrow. They have got a lot of experience in that team. There are lot of players who know how to win play-offs.
So, we make sure that we focus on us and play with the same mindset we have been playing so far,” Moody told reporters on the eve of the eliminator.
Moody refused to pick any individual player who can prove to be a nightmare for the defending champions tomorrow, saying there are a number of them capable of troubling his team.
“There are enough good players in their side. KKR have been champions twice. They have got some high class players, so there is no individual that I would like to pick. They are good and that is why they are playing the eliminator.”
On David Warner’s captaincy, Moody said the Australian batsman is one of those who “relishes the challenge of captaincy and thrives as a batsman and a fielder”.
“Tactically too Warner is thorough in pre-match preparations and in strategising, besides allowing his players to express themselves in the field,” Moody said.
On KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, Moody said he has great respect for him for having led the side to title win twice.
“I have got a lot of respect for Gambhir as a captain and as a player. He has led a very successful franchise and led from the front. We expect him to, by nature, he would not give any room because he is competitive character as a leader and as a batsman. He is a terrific leader for KKR,” he said.
Moody said he has very fond memories of last year’s eliminator, in which they had defeated KKR.
“We have got fine memories of that match. Compared to last year, there are different circumstances this year. We have got different balance. KKR also have got different personnel. They are playing a different style of cricket. They also have (Chris) Lynn at the top of the order and (Sunil) Narine as well.”
Moody said the team will be studying KKR’s each and every player’s strong and weak points.
“We look at every player we are playing against. We will be reviewing their strengths and weaknesses and try to exploit them. There is no player, regardless of a high-profile player or a new player, we are pretty thorough with each and every match that we play,” he said.
Asked how they would tackle pinch-hitters like Narine, Moody said they have plans on how to bowl in first six overs.
“We have played KKR twice and we have seen how they go about the powerplay overs. So far we have been successful in nullifying that. Yes they have got off to a flying start here, but we don’t bowl quite as inconsistently as them. So, we have got few thoughts how to approach the first six overs.
“Moreover KKR has got their own headaches. With inclusion of Narine upfront, it has thrown the middle order into confusion,” he added.
Moody said Kane Williams is very much under consideration for tomorrow’s match but his absence in few games had given Warner options to strengthen bowling.
“He has always been under consideration in playing XI given that he is such a fine player. The occasions that he has missed out has given Warner a chance to strengthen bowling department,” he said.
Prasing Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Moody said he was not only one of India’s best T20 bowlers, but one of the leading bowlers in the world.
“I think Bhuvi has shown that he is not only India’s best T20 bowlers, but you could easily put him in world cricket one of the leading bowlers, because just look at what he is done statistically even in conditions that generally can be challenging for fast bowlers on good batting surfaces here in India,” he said.
On choosing between Mohammad Nabi and Kane, Moody said they haven’t made any decision as Nabi needed to undergo a fitness test.
“Nabi had his finger x-rayed, but we have to monitor how his hand shapes up. He’s pretty resilient and tough character.
We have not yet decided on the balance of the side,” said the coach.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook