IPL 8: Sunrisers Hyderabad's middle-order need to fire against Royals
Sunrisers Hyderabad's fortunes rely heavily on openers David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. It would be safe to say that they are the keys of the team. While Warner has 382 runs, Dhawan has scored 253 in nine matches.
Sunrisers Hyderabad's Naman Ojha is bowled by KKR's Umesh Yadav at Eden Gardens on Monday. The middle-order batsman has scored 127 in nine matches at an average of 15.87. Pic/PTI
The next best batsman after the openers is Naman Ojha with 127 runs. With the Indian Premier League fast approaching the business end, Hyderabad is keen to see their middle order rises to the challenges and reduces the gap between the openers and the rest.
Rather than making his team look over reliant on the openers, Hyderabad coach Tom Moody wants his middle order to make the most of the five more opportunities that are left with them to make it to the play-offs, starting with today's encounter against Rajasthan Royals at the Brabourne Stadium.
It's the same everywhere
"Mostly all teams are dependent on their openers. You get Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane early, Rajasthan Royals is pretty much exposed. The same is with Kolkata Knight Riders. Yes, we may not have exactly nailed our middle order as yet, but I look at it as an opportunity for them to put their hands up and play a match-winning innings.
"We have five more opportunities to do so. Everyone must play freely and fearlessly. Just one good knock can give a lot of confidence to them (middle order batsmen).
No matter if they go into bat early, but even then they should make the most of every opportunity that comes their way. Hopefully, that situation doesn't arrive soon," said Moody on the eve of the match.
Although the Australian felt that RR too are over dependent on their openers, Rajasthan Royals all-rounder Stuart Binny does not feel the same.
'RR's top five in form'
"T20 is all about starting well. Watson and Jinks (Rahane) have been in-form for us so far. We also swapped our places in the last couple of matches (sending Sanju Samson at No 3 against MI and making Karun Nair bat in Samson's place against Delhi Daredevils) which has helped our players. So, all our top five batsmen are in form which is a good thing," said Binny.