Before yesterday’s match, discussions mostly revolved around whether star pacers Trent Boult and Dale Steyn will figure in a Sunrisers Hyderabad playing XI.
However, Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner surprisingly dropped both fast bowlers, who would have relished the slightly green Brabourne Stadium wicket against Rajasthan Royals.
Warner instead brought back Ishant Sharma, who last played in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s opening match in which he conceded 46 runs in three overs (including four no-balls) against Chennai Super Kings on April 11. Thus, Sunrisers Hyderabad had an all-Indian attack against the Royals.
Hyderabad did strengthen their middle-order with the inclusion of another foreign player Ravi Bopara in place of Steyn, and the move to a large extent, paid off with English cricketers Eoin Morgan and Bopara building on after Shikhar Dhawan scored a brilliant 35-ball 54 at the top. Morgan (28-ball 63) and Bopara stitched a crucial 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket — the highest in Hyderbad’s innings — to post their highest total (201-4) of the Indian Premier League-8.
Although the depleted attack was stretched till the end to defend the total, coach Tom Moody was pleased with the efforts.
“I am happy that the gamble paid off. We needed to strengthen our middle order which we did and we got a pretty good score on the board. The bowlers too did a good job and I feel it was a pretty good move (dropping Steyn and Boult) in the end,” said Moody.